Firstly, I must say that I wasn’t all that excited about this exhibition as I had studied this artist at school several years before and could appreciate that his style at the time was revolutionary and that it influenced modern art greatly, however I am not a big fan of pop art of modern art in general; I’m much more of a classic style art-lover. Don’t get me wrong, I really loved the simplicity, colour choices and focus on the furniture of the time in some of his pieces such as these;
Where the draughtsmanship, focus on certain details and perspectives are just so perfect and exciting. However it was when we ventured into the later rooms that I decided that Patrick Caulfield was an absolute genius. Not only did he bring out the outlines that not every person could see in an image so that you could view something so regular in such a different way, but he also managed to play with light, shadows and how we remembered images, rooms and scenes. I loved the choice of colours, placing and perspective in this piece and was so impressed with how effective the pop-art style was used to demonstrate how he saw the string of pearls. The outlines in the piece below, I particularly enjoyed, as they were so effective and precise.
I was so impressed, and stunned into silence when I found that the majority of his works, including his large-scale scenery paintings with intricate detail were virtually all imaginary spaces and images from his mind! I actually exclaimed: ‘HE IS A GENIUS.’ I then went into; the third room I think and saw a painting to my left, which included a wonderful landscape image that really made the picture ‘pop’ – hehe! I then looked closer, and found that this was not an image that he had inserted to the piece, no, because how could he have achieved that, with such good results in 1975. Unless I am mistaken this would not have been possible to do at the time so…he must have painted the landscape as well and there is no mention of montage etc. on the information on the wall or in the booklet.
I continued through the exhibition and found that, later on in his career, he often used this technique. He often chose to create a piece in his timeless pop-art style with the black lines and bright colours depicting a space, or landscape imagined by himself with furniture of the time; with then some roses, or a plate, or the top of a pepper grinder in a realist style that looked as though they were right there in-front of me. At this point, I decided that I was insanely jealous of Caulfield. As an artist myself, I have often laboured over a piece that was in the ‘realist’ style, if that’s what you want to call it, and then created something that was O.K. However, Caulfield could seemingly do this with ease, yet CHOSE NOT TO. He could paint like Canaletto, and pave the way for modern art while depicting the era perfectly all at the same time. It was when I saw pieces like;
Where I really saw how talented he was. He explored the relationship between realism, memories, shading & light, textures & patterns and furniture and iconic pieces of the time. When they are all put together in one piece, the results are astounding. I could see in one painting, a wine glass, so realistic and life-sized I thought I could pick it up, a panel of incredibly realistic wood and some fabulously garish 1970’s wallpaper in two different colour tones to show where the shadow appeared! Well my mind was blown. I went through a short period of hating him as I was so insanely jealous and then realised that I must do some more research of him!
I don’t have much to say about Gary Hume, and this is because I do urge you to go and see some of his work in real life as any picture that I post would not do his pieces or uniquely fabulous medium any justice at all. All of his pieces are created on large aluminium sheets using gloss paint! How strange and wonderful! He often engraves images into the paint with such skill and such beautiful simplicity that I could have stared at them forever! Unfortunately I was left so stunned by the Patrick Caulfield pieces that I was not as impressed as I should have been by Gary Hume. I would advise you to go to the Gary Hume rooms first if you do visit as his work is so fresh and imaginative!
Do visit the Tate Britain page for more information on the artist: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/patrick-caulfield?gclid=CMyfjt30h7gCFefKtAodmlsAVw
…and if you can – visit the exhibition!!!!!! It’s so worth it!! Enjoy 🙂 xx