Two London Exhibitions – De Chirico and Artists Textiles

Had a lovely spring day out to London. One of the last days of catching the train to St Pancras – the Charing Cross line is now apparently fixed, after several months.
    It is a funny journey on that line – a bucolic – and slow – diesel chug across Romney Marsh, stopping at Winchelsea, Rye and Appledore. Oast houses on the hills in the distance, mist, sheep, herons and egrets standing at the edges of the ditches. Then all change at Ashford to the HS1 which hurtles up to London in 38 minutes. Talks are going on about extending the fast line to Hastings – not in our lifetime, methinks.
    Our first stop was the Estorick Collection, in Canonbury Square in Islington, to see a small De Chirico exhibition. We have been there once before – it is a lovely old house set in a pretty garden – unexpected for north London.   The permanent collection is Italian art, and mostly Futurist Italian Art to boot – very esoteric (heh heh).

The Estorick Collection Gallery

    The De Chirico show was small, but interesting – to be honest, I have never known much about him. I know he was born in Volos, Greece (we stayed the night there once) and his style is mostly metaphysical, but I don’t really understand what that means. There were a number of his sculptures, many of which seemed to be either ancient Greek looking draped figures with bits of ancient temple, or couples sitting together with their innards on show. Here are a few examples:

De Chirico – The Architects
De Chirico – Hector and Andromache
De Chirico – don’t know the title
Large statue?

    We had lunch in the nice little Italian tea-room at the gallery, took a stroll down Upper Street, and then caught a bus down to London Bridge.
     A few weeks ago Philosopher met Anna in London and they went to an exhibition called Artists Textiles at the Fashion and Textile Museum. He said I’d really like it, so we went. It was indeed fabulous. I had no idea that so many great twentieth century artists also did fabric designs. Some of the fabric was just stunning.
They also showed it made up into wonderful vintage clothes, including Horrockses 1950’s dresses. When I had my retro clothes shop in Birmingham I had several of these on sale – I hope no fabrics by great artists, because I would have priced them at a fraction of their true value.
     The Fashion and Textile Museum was founded by Zandra Rhodes, and is always worth a visit. It has a lovely little cafe and a great shop – we had tea and scones after our visit to the exhibition.
      Then it was back to St Pancras, whizz down to Ashford, then far too many people crammed into the  over-short diesel for a hot and sweaty pootle back to Hastings.

Salvador Dali – Spring Rain
Saul Steinberg – Paddington Station
Graham Sutherland – Snowdrops, Horrockses
Picasso – Musical Faun 1963
Eduardo Paolozzi, Horrockses dress 1953
John Piper – Chieza del a Salute 1963
Andy Warhol – Melons 1963
Circus – John Rombola


Joan Miro

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