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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Shifting Currents indeed! Evocative Turner!

Turner’s Modern and Ancient Ports: Passages through Time   (Hardcover) by Susan Grace GalassiIan WarrellJoanna Sheers Seidenstein, Gillian Forrester, Rebecca Hellen, and Eloise Owens


This catalogue is an excellent production supporting the exciting exhibition at the Frick Gallery, running from February 23, 2017 to May 14, 2017. Featuring paintings, drawings and a collection of essays by the curators involved with the exhibition, provide further food for thought about Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851), his works and artistic  development.
I was captivated by the intriguing tile of one of the essays, 'Shifting Currents: Turner's Depictions of Coasts, Rivers, Harbors and Ports in the 1820's by Ian Warrell. It plays brilliantly to the idea of the exhibition. It's playfulness piqued my interest. That thought aside, all essays are equally authoritative, fascinating and illuminating.
The cornerstone of the exhibition are two paintings belonging to the Frick from the 1820's.  They reflect Turner's developing skills and techniques in his representation of the motif of the modern and ancient ports of Dieppe and Cologne; The Harbor of Dieppe of 1825 and Cologne, The Arrival of a Packet-Boat: Evening of 1826. The transition that these two works represent are supported by a coherent and exciting cavalcade of other of Turner's works. Vibrant and energetic! This apparently is the first time that these two seminal paintings have hung side by side. 
Just as the exhibition is a window into Turner's methods, his abilities, use of color, light, absorbing subject matter, and so much more, so too is the catalogue. A further portal, a timeless chance to engage with all facets of the exhibition, both during the exhibition, and long after.
The catalogue is definitely a worthy addition for Turner aficionados and the interested, whether one is able to attend the exhibition or not.

 A NetGalley ARC


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