Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Gerhard Richter and Francis Alys Fabiola

I just caught the Gerhard Richter
exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, I had been wanting to see his work for some time. In reproduction it has perhaps even more of an ambiguous sense something between photographic reproduction and painting.

In his work from the sixties Gerhard Richter used black and white photographs from magazines for his paintings, which obscure identities and play with the surface of the paint. Later he used photographs of his family friends and associates. There are some paintings of his wife and baby too which seem somehow both touching and disturbing as their faces are obscured and paint is dragged across them.

In the Portrait gallery I spotted another exhibition Francis Alys" Fabiola," which is worth seeing too. The artist Francis Alys has collected 300 odd images of a christian saint known as Fabiola. The image has a Fabiola in profile usually in a crimson veil, and all though at first glance the images seem to be very similar their are infact big differences between them. Francis Alys collected the images from flea markets and antique shops from around the world, and some are of high quality artistically, others are obviously made by amateurs.
There are two rooms full and I was facinated looking round, perhaps something of the saintly qualities of Fabiola are present with such a collection of her image.

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