Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Guardian Arts Blog and Exhibition Rage

The Turner Whistler Monet Exhibition queue in Paris October 2004
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I enjoyed reading this Guardian Art Blog article by Martin Kemp about "How do you avoid exhibition rage?" and the comments. If I could ever work out how to get the Guardian cookie system past my security suite I would be suggesting the need to have a much bigger room for a very popular exhibition in future.

The arrangements for the recent Leonardo da Vinci exhibition at the V&A Museum (co-curated by Martin Kemp and Marina Wallace) were, in my opinion always likely to cause problems as the arrangements for the displays were very cramped. Display windows included a lot of items and were crowded together either side of a very small room leading to people jostling and being jostled as they tried to view the pieces. By way of contrast the exhibition about the home in Renaissance Italy was in a simply enormous space right next door.......which never ever seemed full. Very odd.

The only explanation I could think of was the need for massive security - but I guess that probably didn't impress the people who queued a long time to see it and then found themselves experiencing poor viewing conditions when they finally got in.

It was ironic therefore to find myself staring last week at David Hockney's double portrait of Martin Kemp and Marina Wallace in the extremely popular Hockney Portraits exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery (closing on Sunday) - in accommodation which was not uncomfortable despite the hordes who were viewing and which had been especially changed from normal arrangements to ensure sufficient space. What a contrast!

Have you ever experienced exhibition rage?

I can highly recommend the Guardian Arts Blog. It has a specific art section and is a jolly good read from the UK paper that is widely recognised as leading the pack when it comes to blogging and reporting on blogs.


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