Friday 31 March 2023


Running until August 13 folks, the National Gallery’s After Impressionism: Inventing modern art. 

This is a thought-provoking journey showing the struggle between realism and abandonment of naturalism in painting and what Katie did next.

Headlined by Cezanne, Gauguin and Van Gogh this is chance to see ninety seven paintings many of which have been coaxed from private collections for our grateful gaze.


Paul Cezanne’s (1839 - 1906) still life paintings and his landscapes play ducks and drakes with volume and perspective. Van Gogh’s frantic brushwork, rhythmic patterning (?verb)  and the way he crops his work is an eye opener. Edgar Degas (1834–1917) was breaking the rules on composition and a painting’s edge with his dizzying studies.

Paul Cezanne 'Mont Sainte-Victoire'  1902‒6

Gauguin takes us East, and the show’s description of his work could not resist references to 'colonialism', his 'relationships' to those whom he painted and cohabited; a lest-we-forget piece of wokery if ever there was.


Lots of new names: Paul Sérusier (1864 - 1927) - his Le Talisman, Paysage au Bois d'Amour is early abstraction as is Lady of Fashion by Eduard Vuillard’s colour-field approach.


The concept of painter as commentator (which today seems to the only way a painter should be) is introduced in Jan Toorop’s 1858–1928 The Eve of the Strike. A palette and composition ladened with political undertones. 

The eve of the strike (Dark clouds) Jan Toorop

Surprises: A riot of colour by Edvard Munch in his 1915 painting Cabbage Field. A scream of colour no less (sorry). 


Representational Mondrian? Excuse me? Yes, there are two landscape studies next to his more familiar approach in Composition NXVI.


Thrills and mysteries to enjoy and think about, demanding two if not three visits. If three then you have amortised the cost of an NG annual membership. Get and go.

André Derain, ‘La Danse’

Wednesday 22 March 2023


Running until the end of May is a wonderful show of paintings, prints, watercolours and drawings by Giorgio Morandi. Treasures just five minutes’ walk from Highbury and Islington tube station.

 Morandi (1890-1964) is best known for his mournful treatment of modest household objects, to which he returned again and again. Like a chess player he studied every configuration of bottles, jars, pots and glass. He loved his backgrounds which were so much part of a restrained palette, earth colours, greys, milky blues and whites.

NATURA MORTA Oil on canvas

14⅞ by 17¾ in. (37.8 by 45.1 cm)

Painted in 1951.

 In real life these pictures are so much lighter than the reproductions we enjoy online. And you can see how his palette becomes in and of itself lighter comparing paintings from 1927 to 1948.


Special for me where the watercolours and pencil drawings, the former float and are almost like abstracted apparitions. The pencil studies are akin to Morandi working things out, exploring, one of the essential qualities of drawing.

Morandi Drawings : Great explorations


Overall, a triumph for focus and economy of means.


Do go. Runs until 28 May 2023


Painting 2023 Sotheby's Thank you 

Drawing  © 2000–2023 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Thank you