Wednesday, September 9th 2015
Having returned from a short but intensive trip to Marseille, we wanted to spend a relatively leisurely day today and decided that a visit to an art exhibition would fill the bill nicely. This one was being held at Somerset House in the Strand and was therefore easy to access.
The exhibition is by the Ben Uri Gallery and remains on view until December 13th 2015. Admission is free and photography is allowed. It is entitled Out of Chaos and features works of art by mainly Jewish émigrés, some well known, some less so. You will find details on the Ben Uri Gallery’s exhibition page.
Exhibits are arranged in several rooms with information boards that give a good explanation and overview of the periods and styles in which the art works were made. I obviously cannot reproduce that information here and, in any case, you need to see the exhibits for the explanations to make sense. Nor can I show all the works, so I have limited myself to a few samples without attempting to make these representative of the exhibition of a whole. They are simply works that caught my attention.
Photographing paintings is more difficult than it may seem. You need to set the camera squarely in front of the work in order to avoid such distortions as converging horizontals and verticals. Lighting is critical and in this exhibition posed difficulties because the spotlights used inevitably caused reflections on the surface of the images. For this reason, I avoided paintings covered with glass as he results would have been unacceptable.
The architecture of Somerset House, both internally and externally, is of interest and if you have noticed my fascination with staircases, the next photo will not come as a surprise:
Somerset House, once a royal palace, is formed around a large courtyard which is now used to host all kinds of events. This picture is a composite of several photos and therefore shows some slight distortion but nevertheless gives an impression on the courtyard (click for a larger view).