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My Favorite Art Galleries
One of my favorite pastimes is to go round art galleries. I have been known to travel miles to see art shows featuring my
favorite artists. Some shows don't come around very often, such as the one I recently went to in London which brought
together some of Michelangelo's drawings from collections all over the world for the first time. It's worth the traveling
because you might not get the chance to see it again.
My favorite galleries are the ones that have impressive permanent collections but which also are imaginative in their choice
of visiting exhibitions. Recently, installations and video pieces have been dominating art shows. I'm not against these on
principle and I think that there is room for everything, but I haven't seen many examples to impress me. Everything comes in
cycles anyway, and painting is making a comeback to art shows. I don't really care what the genre is, as long as it's
interesting, but I have missed painting. I don't think that anything should be almost outlawed because it's fallen out of
I like to see retrospectives of artists, showing their work in chronological order. It's interesting to see their unfolding
development. I also like art shows, which explore a certain movement. The recent
trend for themed exhibitions which hang 18th Century paintings next to 21st Century pictures leave me cold. For me, it's a
lazy concept and just an excuse to hang a lot of pictures up for the sake of it. I don't want to immerse myself in a Monet,
and then be greeted with a Dali the next minute. It's jarring and confusing. Give me white walls, a well thought out hanging
policy and a catalogue written in accessible, concise terms.
Recent exhibitions have gone out of their way to shock the public. Art shows containing pickled sheep and elephant dung have
hit the headlines. These exhibits don't actually shock me; my shock level is set fairly low. I do find most of this shock art
boring however. I think there are better emotions to evoke in the viewer, unless they are being shocked in a purposeful way.
If a piece of art were to shock people out of their apathy concerning war and famine, I would be all for it. As it is, the
aim of shock art seems to be to shock people for the sake of it. It's all relative anyway. In their day, the Impressionists
were shocking too.
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