Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Went up to Wolverhampton to see the Art Gallery there for the first time. It was a bit 'between shows'. Andy Warhol Paintings, Posters and Screenprint exhibition starts later this month and was in preparation. Another gallery was closed for some reason, so there was nothing in any of the lower galleries. I seem to have a knack of visiting galleries between shows - my most famous trip was to New York specifically to visit MOMA to find it was in the middle of refurbishment and closed for the duration. I know, I should look these things up before I start out on the big adventure.

The upper floor had a hands-on sculpture exhibition that was crawling with school children making the most of the sign that said all exhibits can be touched! After fighting my way out of the melee, I found the Utmost Fidelity exhibition featuring the work of husband and wife artists Adrian and Marianne Stokes. The Madonna and Child (1907-8) by Marianne Stokes (above) is famous for having been chosen as Christmas postage stamp in 2005. I particularly liked the fact that they had no children, a private income and were able to travel widely. My own 'lead weights' keep me busy and poor! However, envy apart, I enjoyed a lot of the work - more Marianne's for the luminosity of her subjects and the gorgeous costumes and colours- many were Hungarian villagers from the area they stayed on their painting travels and looked as fresh as if they were painted yesterday. It is a portrayal of an
idyllic world, rosy-cheeked children, young women sewing their wedding outfits but the quality of the work speaks for itself and it all felt a refreshing change from the surfeit of gloom-laden, hand-wringing, politically correct and on-message exhibitions that are de-rigeur at the moment. Some days you just feel grateful to rise above the misery.

I would have liked an exhibition book but the £35 hardback in the shop was prohibitive.

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