At the weekend myself and The Ratings Of My Ebay Account went to The British Museum to see not one, not two, but FOUR art exhibitions. Yes, we ARE dead fancy! These were all taking place in Room 90, which is the big room at the top where they show items from their collection of DRAWINGS and similar. We go there a lot because it is GRATE, and this time was no exception.
The first exhibition - Superb line: prints and drawings from Genoa 1500â€“1800 - was (SPOILERS) my favourite. As the name suggests it was SUPERB, featuring a TONNE of GORGEOUS drawings which we got thoroughly ABSORBED in. Whenever I see these sort of RENAISSANCE SKETCHES (which I do a lot of due to the above mentioned being dead fancy) I am always STRUCK by how much they look like pencils for COMICS, full of exciting dynamism and also loads of them hashed lines what they all do. What I am saying is that it was DEAD good and my only worry was that the rest of the exhibitions would be a bit rubbish in comparison.
My FEARS were endorsed by the next one - Gesture and line: four post-war German and Austrian artists - which was... well, it was exactly what it says. The BM (as we cool kids call it) tends to follow the MUSEUM RULE of putting something Not Hugely Helpful as the MAIN part of the title of the exhibition, but with a second part that actually describes what it's about, and they are generally pretty good at it. Anyway, after the FAB drawings we'd just looked at this one felt a bit like an Exhibition By Your College Art Lecturers. It was All Right, and if they were in the pub round the corner afterwards you'd be nice to them, but hey, it wasn't THE RENAISSANCE.
After that, however, things picked up again with The genius of nature: botanical drawings by Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues (see previous remarks RE: titles). This was a very short selection of pages from a BOOK what someone had made for a LADY in the sixteenth century of various fruit, veg, and animals and it was LOVELY. When I think of MEDIEVAL DRAWINGS (as I so often do) I usually think of stuff like the drawings on the front of PAMPHLETS with very basic images and big thick lines but these were like something out of a TEXTBOOK or LADYBIRD BOOK, and were amazingly GLOWING with colour all these centuries later.
Finally we had Ed Ruscha: roads and insects which I initially TUTTED at as the first few pictures were of some IMAGINARY ROADS what he had drawn. "HARRUMPH!" I harrumphed, but the second half of this similarly BRIEF batch of ARTWORKS was some FANTASTIC drawings of whole bunchs of INSECTS crawling across the page. It doesn't sound that amazing described like that, but there was something about them that made you just SMILE at all the LIFE going on in them, also the way he'd made it look so REAL but also quite comical and cartoony. There's a picture on the Exhibition site which conveys it a BIT but in real life it's much more FUN. I retracted my HARRUMPH with immediate effect.
Basically it was DEAD GOOD and if you're nearby I'd thoroughly recommend popping in. The insects and fruit ones close this weekend, but the others are up for a while yet and, as stated, there is always something worth seeing there, and it's also very much FREE so you can't lose!