Now that I’m traveling to awesome European cities for work trips, I am working hard to do something fun at least one night while in town. This week, I was in London, and on Wednesday night, I squeezed in my first visit to the Tate Modern. During my previous trip to London (back in July), one of my UK colleagues told me I should check it out. It turns out that there is an exhibit by Henri Matisse at the moment. It’s called Cut Outs.
Now, as you’ve probably noticed, I’m learning about most of these artists as I go. I never took an Art History class in school, so my knowledge of the various artists and time periods is quite limited. During my visit, I learned that Henri Matisse lost a lot mobility when he was older, and therefore, much of his ability to paint. For the last 17 years of his life, he started creating new kinds of art by cutting shapes from painted paper. This exhibit was 14 rooms displaying his Cut Outs.
Before you go thinking that this is only something you do in kindergarten, let me tell you that it was AWESOME! Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take any photographs. But, there were some rooms that displayed one of his original paintings alongside the “cut out” version of the same painting. There were also multiple canvases that were HUGE – nearly an entire wall in size. Mural might be a better word to describe them. For these larger canvases, he used to cut out the various shapes and instruct his helpers where and how to adhere them to the canvas. He traveled to Tahiti earlier in his life, and he was very inspired by the coral, the fish, the birds, etc. You can see that reflected in his work. These Cut Outs also feature his “Blue Nudes,” which some of you may have seen.
There was also an exhibit by Malevich, which was cool, but paled in comparison. The rest of the museum was a little extreme for me. I always feel that way about Modern Art. I don’t always get it.
After the museum, we walked along the South Bank to meet another colleague for a sushi dinner, which was delicious! I originally met her in the fall when she was working in Vevey. It was great to catch up, and it was such a treat to have sushi! There is only one place to get it in Vevey, and it is very expensive.
Another highlight while I was in London? Receiving this amazing photo via text message from a really good Purina friend. He was working in NYC this week and was out for a run one morning. He knows how much I love the Today Show, so he made sure to stop and send along a photo. And I LOVE that it happened to be Al Roker’s 60th birthday week!