I guess you could call me an aspiring art critic, an admirer of Clive Bell and Frida Kahlo reincarnated with a dash of Rococo.

  • Alexia Morris

Coronavirus and online exhibitions have taken me to New York?

Through a time of such uncertainty and of isolation how have is this possible. Yes, you read right, the virtual online tours of exhibitions means that I was able to experience an exhibition which I was dying to go see, however it is in New York. "In Praise of Painting" is an exhibition displaying a collection of paintings from the Dutch Golden Age, which is a period of art that I will talk about on this blog a lot from now on as I have decided to do my dissertation on a theme from this incredible period of art. The virtual exhibition allowed me to listen to the curator's thoughts about certain pieces and delve in and look closer at sentimental symbolism in the paintings, focusing on the exposure of themes such as life and death, which were popular themes to focus on in a time where your eternal fate was determined by your earthly actions. The symbols of death are known as a memento mori, which is Latin for death comes to all. They are essentially sobering symbols and are intended to be a moral reminder of the consequences of certain actions. In 1566, in the Netherlands, the Dutch Revolt took place. It was an iconoclastic movement by Calvinists (Protestants) who rejected the Catholic rulership of the Spanish. The imagery in which was originally associated with the Catholic church, the countless images of Christ on the cross, was rejected and a new anti-church image was produced. They still acted as an emblem of morality yet in a different way...

In a time when death has become all too real, this exhibition was really interesting to think about changes in attitudes and how images were so essential in displaying right from wrong.

Anyway, I could go on for a while but what I am trying to get across in this quick post is how galleries are offering free virtual tours of exhibitions and collections. This exhibition, which is across the Atlantic has been brought to my bedroom and its amazing. The exhibition in this blog can be seen on the Met Museum's website but I really recommend having a browse on other galleries websites, and who knows maybe that newly acquired lockdown knowledge could be that of art?

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My name is Alexia and I am 20 years old. I am currently studying History of art at Oxford Brookes University and found that it has inspired me to really look at art with a different eye. I follow a critic called Jerry Saltz on Instagram and through reading his work and looking at the writings of Vasari and Clive Bell I have realised that I have an extreme love for writing and talking about art. I do paint in my spare time and have always loved it but I have always found it so interesting to learn new things about artists. I remember learning about the life of Toulouse-Lautrec when I wrote about Women at their 'toilette' for my A-level coursework and being completely fascinated by his absinthe addiction and what he got up to. When you find out about the life and personality of an artist it really changes your opinion on their works which is not necessarily a good thing but it is something which is completely relevant. When I learnt about The Bloomsbury group and how they intended to dissociate form, colour and lines with a subject matter I learnt this new way of observing art. I always find that keeping an open mind no matter how hard it may be is the only way to fully and truly appreciate a piece, so that is what I intend to use this blog for.


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