Saturday, 1 December 2012

Dancing Satyr, attributed to Praxiteles

If I'm not first through the door, then you can bet I'll be last - and if I don't see an exhibition as soon as it opens, then somehow the weeks tick away and, before I know it, it's almost too late.

When it's cold and damp, I have to force myself off the sofa, even though I know I'll be glad once I'm up and out. It was 5pm today before I got myself out of the house ...

And half an hour later, I was gazing in wonder at this Dancing Satyr that was dragged up from the seabed by fishermen off the coast of Sicily in 1998. He seemed not to be dancing so much as spiralling down to the depths from a shipwreck ... which I suppose is what really happened to him roughly 2400 years ago.

Brian Sewell gave the RA's Bronze exhibition the most scathing review, saying that the way it connects works from different times and cultures 'might amuse shallow-minded members of the Women's Institute but induce the serious to snore.'

Well, I thought it was magnificent. (Apart from the silly, obscure labels. I don't know about you but I get terribly confused between BCE and mad cow disease.)

I was spellbound by Anish Kapoor's bronze mirror, so beautiful that it seems like a cauldron of shape-shifting, molten reflections. (Or if you prefer Mr Sewell's line, some 'tag and bobtail trivia' of contemporary work.)

It was buzzing with people, lots of them young, some of them serious, nobody snoring. Here's the story of how it all came together.

And it's still on for a few days if you'd like to make up your own mind.


Darlene said...

I can't believe Brian Sewell said that, what an ass! Glad you enjoyed yourself, Mary.

p.s. - the weather these days is so grim that I don't venture out if it's avoidable. The bookshop was beckoning so Taylor and I headed out only to be caught in a surprise snowstorm.

mary said...

I like him normally, Darlene, he's such a good writer - though I expect I'm one of the shallow-minded hordes he despises!

Vintage Reading said...

Oh Brian Sewell, take him with a pinch of salt. Love the satyr and the story.

mary said...

I'm sure he only does it to annoy, Nicola!

Anonymous said...

"I don't know about you, but I get terribly confused between BCE and mad cow disease." Ha, ha, ha...laughing uproariously.