Albert Irvin RA

I wish I had known Bert Irvin better.   He had a studio just down the road on Stepney Green, upstairs in an old Jewish School.   But I never saw it.   I only saw him at gatherings at the RA, where, I now realise, he was a central figure of the postwar generation whose experience of art was formed by exhibitions of Abstract Expressionism at the Whitechapel and Tate.   One of a group who met at Northampton School of Art in the early 1940s.   400 people came to pay their respects at the memorial event at Tate Britain which is testimony to how much he was liked and his work admired.

Albert Irvin RA, Blue Anchor, 1989. Acrylic on canvas. 2130 x 3050 mm. © Royal Academy Collection.

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Chatsworth (8)

Having burdened my readers with multiple posts about Chatsworth last week, and particularly about the garden statuary, I am now able to say, thanks to information supplied by the Chatsworth archive, that none of the statues I photographed are from the original garden layout.   The original statues were presumably cleared away in the fashion for the picturesque later in the eighteenth century.   Those that are in the garden now were all bought by the sixth Duke who was a passionate and knowledgeable collector of sculpture both for his Sculpture Gallery and outdoors.

Diana and Apollo are recorded as being on the South Lawn in the sixth Duke’s diary on 20 February 1841.   They were bought from Francesco Bienaimé on 2 March 1841 (£100 each):-

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Dingle’s Fairground Museum

In the afternoon I walked through the Devon countryside to the local farm which has been converted into a museum of the fairground with ageing dodgems and roundabouts which have been rescued from street fairs, complete with detailed provenance, and ancient one-armed bandits from the 1930s which were legalised in 1960:-

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Hauser and Wirth, Somerset (3)

I think it’s my fourth visit to Hauser and Wirth in Somerset, a good place to stop after the long haul down the A303 and the invariable long wait by Stonehenge:  such delicious food in the Roth Bar & Grill, the planting in the Piet Oudolf garden growing to maturity, and the added incentive on this occasion of an exhibition, thoughtful, serious and allusive, by Jenny Holzer.

These are works by Holzer:-

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Edmund de Waal (3)

Today we’re celebrating a small installation in our Library to coincide with the publication of Edmund de Waal’s new book, White.   There is something appropriately serious and thoughtful to it only being a small group of choice objects, some of them selected from, and all of them incorporated in, Jim Cadbury-Brown’s great historical/modernist library space.   Morandi and John Cage, Tristram Shandy and Rachel Whiteread, an Ai Weiwei marble lantern set into one of the bookcases and discreet vitrines of Edmund’s own work.   But no photographs and only fifty people an hour, four days a week, bookable in advance, and concerts by the Aurora Orchestra to accompany it.

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