Friday, 23 March 2007

Bunking off in the name of art.

One of the nicer things about working in the West End is being able to sneak out at lunchtime and go to museums and galleries.

I did this yesterday and spent half an hour in the National Gallery - just about the ideal time I think for someone like me who makes no claim to any particular artistic inclinations. (But as the cliche runs I think I know what I like).

There was an exhibition of Leon Kossoff - an artist and printmaker who makes drawings and prints of pictures hanging in the National Gallery.

He's been going there since he was a kid in the thirties - walking there from his home in the East End. He literally sits down in front of the pictures and either draws or engraves a plate on the spot.

His style has evolved over the years, but to my untutored eyes it looks like a kind of impressionism. In several cases I prefer the result to that of the original.

But that's not really the point - I really like the idea of the process - it seems to be a great illustration of what public galleries are for, and how art can be accessible.

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