Thursday, July 23, 2009

London

I was recently in London, UK for the opening of an exhibition that we’ve consigned of André Kertész’s ‘On Reading’ series, portions of which were shown here in January. Stefanie Braun of The Photographers’ Gallery has done a splendid job with her selection and installation, so if in London sometime before October 4th, you should definitely check it out.


I took the red eye flight on Monday July 13th and stayed up all day Tuesday to see a play called ‘War Horse’ at the National Theatre. Although I was very impressed with the staging, I found it hard to respond to the actors but happy that I saw this new perspective on WWI.

The next day I visited with Michael Wilson to see a portion of his outstanding collection. Although primarily known for his 19th Century expertise, his collection of 20th Century and contemporary works shows him to have an astute eye for all aspects of photography. I was able to quickly visit ATLAS Gallery, who are planning an interesting exhibition of Polaroids for the fall. The TPG Director’s preview that evening was packed with people, I can only hope that their upcoming renovation affords them the space to accommodate their legions of supporters.

Thursday morning I visited the Victoria and Albert Museum to see their recent hangs of new acquisitions as well as a small restaging of their first exhibition. The Museum began acquiring photographs in 1852, and its collection is now one of the largest and most important in the world. Curator Marta Weiss was very kind in helping isolate some historical Canadian material which I was able to view in their Prints & Drawings Study Room. Of particular interest was the collection of photographs taken by the Royal Engineers of the 49th Parallel in 1860 as well as a terrific album entitled CANADA 1875.

From there I visited with Marcus Bury of HackelBury Fine Arts and was very happy to have seen their current exhibition of Malick Sidibé. My next stop was Michael Hoppen Gallery where Michael sold me a terrific print of a frozen Niagara Falls circa 1911. That evening there was a second preview of the Kertész exhibition for the Members of TPG which was even more crowded than the first! I was very happy to see people spending so much time with this fine exhibition.

I left the next morning for home, exhausted. Very happy to have bumped into Shelagh and Mike McGowan who were on the same flight, having enjoyed a short vacation after having completed a promotional tour for his latest film One Week. Shelagh and I went to the same grade school (OLPH); while Mike and I were at the same highschool (St. Mike’s). Small world indeed.

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