The last few weeks have been full of incident:
The British Museum film of the Ice Age: Arrival of the Modern Mind arrived through the post. It’s nicely done and features the curator and Ghislaine (my wife and an AL at MMU) discussing the show – Ghislaine is the only living artist featured in the exhibition. Her drawing, Pregnant Self-Portrait from 1987 (which belongs to the Whitworth) is featured in the first room of the exhibition – juxtaposed with the earliest known surviving sculptures, fashioned between 20,000 – 30,000 years ago. An absolutely extraordinary experience for us both to share; in fact we still can’t quite reconcile ourselves to the extraordinary fact that her drawing is sharing the same curated space as those pieces – most of which are depictions of the naked female figure: I wonder who will be around in 30,000 years to witness whatever may survive of our own culture?
The film can be found on Youtube entitled: Ice Age Art: The Female Gaze’
Another piece of exciting news: Later this year, the Manchester Jewish Museum is hosting a exhibition, Chaim Soutine and his Contemporaries from Russia to Paris. It will coincide with the Chagall: Modern Master exhibition at Tate Liverpool. The Manchester exhibition features a stunning painting by Soutine and an extraordinary work by Marc Chagall known as the Lilac Apocalypse. I’ve been invited to give two talks related to the exhibition, one of which will centre on this little known work that was painted in direct response to the horrors of the concentration camps that were being broadcast in the American press. The painting itself centres on the crucified Christ surrounded by broken images of terror and destruction; Chagall, a Jewish artist, has appropriated this defining moment in Christianity to comment upon the continuing horrors of twentieth century history. A figure wearing an reversed swastika is seen at the foot of the cross, whilst the androgynous figure of Christ looks down. Chagall, like Francis Bacon, who
The show opens l20th June and runs until 24th October
Finally, keep an eye on the blog for news of the film relating to the day out in Glossop: it should be completed any day now.