Somewhat Abstract is the largest exhibition of works from the Arts Council ever assembled outside of London.
For me, this exhibit was a big deal, as it enabled me to finally see Francis Bacon’s Head VI in the flesh, so to speak.
I say “finally”, but I only became aware of this painting’s existence last summer, when the Arts Council displayed various pieces from their collection on billboards and posters on roadsides, bus stops and train stations across the country. Still, it’s the sort of image that, once seen, can never be unseen.
This was displayed on a small, out of the way poster along Liverpool’s dock road:
Terrifying. Brutal. Beautiful.
Fair to say, I’ve been somewhat haunted by that screaming pope ever since I first saw it. How fortuitous that, within the year, it should be exhibited for free at a gallery conveniently located on my walk from work to the train station!
Though Francis Bacon’s painting dominates proceedings (for me, at least), there is so much more to see at Somewhat Abstract.
Read my full review over at FCK LDN.
This, I promise, will be the last bit of writing about Whitby on this site. For a while, at least.
Honestly, I spent less than 48 hours there and I’ve been wittering on and on about the place for weeks.
But yes, my first article for FCK LDN is all about the Whitby Museum, and the curious surrealist dislocation I experienced there.
Surrealist dislocation is quite hard to explain, but Breton explained it by way of a Lautréamont quote, who once wrote about a “chance meeting on a dissecting-table of a sewing-machine and an umbrella.”
By chance, you see two things together than do not necessarily belong together. This acts as a springboard for the sort of deep thoughts, ideas and free associations that might not otherwise have been made.
“The mind is ripe for more than the benign joys it allows itself,” wrote Breton.
The mind can therefore feast at the Whitby Museum, where fossils rub shoulders with arcane charms and steampunk augury.
Read all about it at FCK LDN, complete with many, many pictures!
I’m writing for an exciting new website called FCK LDN!
I’d like to pretend that it’s a community dedicated to lambasting Lily Allen’s horrible breakthrough single, but it’s not. Rather, it’s a site that sets out to highlight that there’s more to the UK than London; that our bustling capital receives an unfair proportion of arts funding and attention.
“FCK LDN is a new online magazine; a magazine that will do to London what every other magazine does to the rest of the UK.
It will pretend that it does not exist…”