Monday, November 13, 2006

Carsten Holler slides

I finally made it to the Tate Modern slides I mentioned earlier.
I didnt find it challenging, but I enjoyed chatting with people in the queue, sharing the excitement and slight fear and I couldnt help but smile for 10 minutes once I had gone down for the 4th floor.
Really good fun.

Holbein in England - Tate Britain - review

Hans Holbein the Younger (he is the Younger cause his father, Hans Holbein the elder, ran a successful workshop in Germany) came to England in 1526 with the recommendations of Erasmus, and made it big here, becoming a few years later Henry VIII's official court painter.

This exhibition offers great evidence of Holbein's "ability to depict likeness, texture, light and stillness" so well you feel like you could touch the cloth or the skin he has painted.

Everything you see amazes you: the eyebrows in his drawings are so precise, literally hair by hair; the parting of the lips, executed in one fine line; the fur, the silk, the embroideries, the pearls... Everything looks so real.

However, one notices no artistic evolution in his work. Holbein's style remains the same from his arrival in the UK until his death. His trademark is "perfect likeness to reality". In a time where there was no photography, where portraits were a treasure, a sign of success, when portraits were also the only way for the Henry VIII to heck out a potential wife, Holbein's talent and skills were very much in need, so why change the style?

Therefore, my view is that Holbein will amaze you with his talent, but not surprise you. In a sense, once you have seen an Holbein, do you need to see any other? Still, I recommend you see at least one!