1 April 2015

The Saatchi Gallery again surprised and delighted me

A bit of fortune at work gave me some free time at the end of the afternoon and as I was heading to Battersea for theatre in the evening I was looking for somewhere to spend some time along the way. It did not take long to think of the Saatchi Gallery in South Kensington as I had been there a few times and had always enjoyed it.

The gallery is a short hop from South Kensington tube station but I was on something of a walk fad at the time (and still am as I write this) so I chose to catch the Victoria Line down from Kings Cross to Victoria and to walk the rest.

The Saatchi Gallery impresses me most with its scale, there are a few very large rooms and these mostly have large objects of art in, the sort of works that would not fit into any sort of normal house.

There is also usually the element of shock (a good thing with art) and this time was no different with Gallery 1 filled with bright blue plastic bags.

The title of the main exhibition was "Pangaea II: New Art From Africa and Latin America" which, not surprisingly, was a follow-up to Pangaea that I had seen last year. As then, the only connection between the works was the nationality of the artists. This meant that every room was very different. I prefer it that way as there is more of a surprise on entering each room and more variety means more stimulation.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the large ants back from the first incarnation of Pangaea though this time they had been relegated from Gallery 1 (possibly the largest room) to definitely the smallest on an upper floor.

Pangaea II filled most of the gallery but there were a couple of other little exhibitions on too. One took a different national theme, "Soviet Union: New Art from Russia". I've said nice things about Russian art several times before and this is an opportunity to do so again.

My self-imposed rules for this blog means that I have only allowed myself one picture of the many exhibits and I've chosen this one of the several copies of the famous Worker and Kolkhoz Woman monument from 1937. Whatever you think about the ideology there is no denying the power of the piece.

Another exhibition was of photographic collages that mixed pictures of everyday objects with science fiction elements. Both sets of images had a very fifties feel to them which added a touch of nostalgia to the strangeness.

I was only in the Saatchi Gallery for just over half an hour, because I had a theatre date, and it was a very rich and fulfilling half an hour. Good art has the ability to do that and the Saatchi Gallery is home to good art.

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