17/01/2023
Reviews
Alfred Portman
The British Museum's Free Hidden Exhibition
Our take on The British Museum's Art on Paper since 1960, spotlighting some of the best works in the Hamish Parker Collection...

Enter the British Museum not from the front but the back, passing through the doors on Montague Place and thereby skipping the queue, ascend the stairs of the North Wing - an Edwardian extension to the Museum - and a towering white marble Amitābha Buddha elegantly fills the stairwell standing on a lotus base and shrouded by stairs of Greek marble. At the top of the stairs (there is also an incredible gilt lift crested with King Edward VIII’s cypher), you will find Room 90, in which a temporary exhibition highlights prizes from the Hamish Parker bequest, including work from Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, Louise Bourgeois, Grayson Perry, Yayoi Kusama and Pablo Picasso.

In the first display case we are greeted by Reclining Sculptor Before The Small Torso (1933) part of Picasso’s Vollard Suite, a series of etchings which has been ranked one of the greatest graphic achievements of the 20th century. Certainly, a masterpiece in the medium of etching. The series was commissioned by art dealer Ambroise Vollard and contains over 100 prints that reveal the inner workings of Picasso’s mind. Due to Vollard’s tragic death in a car crash the prints remained in storage and weren’t published until the 1950s when they were bought by art dealer Henri Petiet. It had always been an ambition of the Museum to acquire the full set and, thanks to a generous donation by Parker in 2012, the museum was able to purchase the suite directly from Petiet's heirs.

Winter, Tretire, Frank Auerbach, 1975-6

From etching to collage, life drawing to conceptual pieces the exhibition is a unique opportunity to see this work in the flesh as it is usually only available on request or through the Museum’s Digital Archive (which doesn’t have pictures for everything… yet!). On the wall beside the Picasso case is a series of works by Frank Auerbach. Winter in Tretire, (1975-6) is a charcoal drawing of the view from an upstairs window at a house in rural Herefordshire. Auerbach’s use of a haze of energetic line has been reduced to near abstraction as he focuses on depicting the tree from the vista in Tree at Tretire I and II (1975). The depth of the drawing is achieved in the prints by combining screenprinting with lighter etching.

Head of Bruce Bernard, Lucian Freud, 1985

After Auerbach the wall display moves to Freud and Bourgeois. Solicitors Head (2003) is an etching by Freud. In contrast to his paintings which tend to show the sitter in full-length, Freud’s etchings focus on the head. After Marilyn Gurland wrote to Freud proposing herself as a sitter, he painted her reclining naked on a bed, in the same year this print was made. She is simply referred to as ‘Solicitor’ in both pieces. The etching may have been made as part of preparatory studies for the painting as Freud worked on his etchings from life. Head of Bruce Bernard (1985) is also likely to be a preparatory work for the two portraits Freud later painted of him. Contrary to Gurland, Bruce is named maybe because he was publicly known as a writer and photographer, or perhaps because he was a personal friend?

As with Picasso’s Vollard Suite, Louise Bourgeois explored her own life, identity and inner world in her work. Stamp of Memories I and II (1993) explore her feelings toward her father, in the first dry point print her naked body is entirely branded by her father’s monograph, and she carries three eggs on her head symbolising her children. In the second print she bares her own monograph, a modern ‘LB’, perhaps she has discarded a feeling of ownership? She now has her own children to care for. Bourgeois said of the eggs in these prints “...she takes them with her and hides them using her hair. She takes them away. She was not prepared... She is very vulnerable. When she expressed joie de vivre, some people objected. So, don't make the gods jealous... if you have a beautiful child, hide it,” hinting at an anxiety surrounding motherhood.

Untitled 7/28/89, Carroll Dunham

Among the more well-known artists represented in the exhibition, make sure to look out for two lesser-known artists, worth mentioning as Hamish Parker championed their work and has cast them into the spotlight through the bequest. Al Taylor (1948-1999) was an American conceptual artist who made 3-D 'constructions’ which he viewed as drawings in space. A selection of Taylor’s charcoal drawings and prints is displayed alongside the work of Carroll Dunham (b. 1949). Also American, Dunham made his name as a painter, with the selection of work displayed tracing his move from abstraction to figuration.

Print for a Politician, Grayson Perry, 2003

One of the most amusing prints is a large etching by artist and social commentator Grayson Perry; Print for a Politician (2003) is actually comprised of three separate etching plates assembled into a 2.5 metre Panoramic aerial view of an imaginary faux political landscape inspired by Medieval maps. The viewer is led on an amusing journey through this land in which Perry satirises the fragmentation of society into tribes. As we travel from sea through valleys and across mountains we observe a mirroring between different religious groups and contemporary social ‘movements’. Lifestyles of groups including ‘Fitness Fanatics’ and ‘Childless Couples’ are depicted in bizarre settings against a backdrop of war. ‘Male Chauvinist Pigs’ lock horns with ‘Neo-pagans’, and ‘Parents’, a town housing ‘Christians’ and ‘Liberals’ is in flames at war with ‘Sikhs’ and ‘Scientists’. Perry imagined the piece hanging in a minister's office, helping him to temper any prejudices he may have. The viewer could walk away with the impression that we are all just small groups fighting each other to belong to insignificant demographics, but there is a darker side to the work with the inclusion of groups such as ‘Nazis’, ‘Perverts’ and ‘Al-Qaeda’, raising deeper moral questions of which battles are worth fighting? Who decides how and who to eliminate from the political landscape?

Art on Paper since 1960: The Hamish Parker Collection is showing at The British Museum until 5th March. Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app when you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
17/01/2023
Reviews
Alfred Portman
The British Museum's Free Hidden Exhibition
Our take on The British Museum's Art on Paper since 1960, spotlighting some of the best works in the Hamish Parker Collection...

Enter the British Museum not from the front but the back, passing through the doors on Montague Place and thereby skipping the queue, ascend the stairs of the North Wing - an Edwardian extension to the Museum - and a towering white marble Amitābha Buddha elegantly fills the stairwell standing on a lotus base and shrouded by stairs of Greek marble. At the top of the stairs (there is also an incredible gilt lift crested with King Edward VIII’s cypher), you will find Room 90, in which a temporary exhibition highlights prizes from the Hamish Parker bequest, including work from Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, Louise Bourgeois, Grayson Perry, Yayoi Kusama and Pablo Picasso.

In the first display case we are greeted by Reclining Sculptor Before The Small Torso (1933) part of Picasso’s Vollard Suite, a series of etchings which has been ranked one of the greatest graphic achievements of the 20th century. Certainly, a masterpiece in the medium of etching. The series was commissioned by art dealer Ambroise Vollard and contains over 100 prints that reveal the inner workings of Picasso’s mind. Due to Vollard’s tragic death in a car crash the prints remained in storage and weren’t published until the 1950s when they were bought by art dealer Henri Petiet. It had always been an ambition of the Museum to acquire the full set and, thanks to a generous donation by Parker in 2012, the museum was able to purchase the suite directly from Petiet's heirs.

Winter, Tretire, Frank Auerbach, 1975-6

From etching to collage, life drawing to conceptual pieces the exhibition is a unique opportunity to see this work in the flesh as it is usually only available on request or through the Museum’s Digital Archive (which doesn’t have pictures for everything… yet!). On the wall beside the Picasso case is a series of works by Frank Auerbach. Winter in Tretire, (1975-6) is a charcoal drawing of the view from an upstairs window at a house in rural Herefordshire. Auerbach’s use of a haze of energetic line has been reduced to near abstraction as he focuses on depicting the tree from the vista in Tree at Tretire I and II (1975). The depth of the drawing is achieved in the prints by combining screenprinting with lighter etching.

Head of Bruce Bernard, Lucian Freud, 1985

After Auerbach the wall display moves to Freud and Bourgeois. Solicitors Head (2003) is an etching by Freud. In contrast to his paintings which tend to show the sitter in full-length, Freud’s etchings focus on the head. After Marilyn Gurland wrote to Freud proposing herself as a sitter, he painted her reclining naked on a bed, in the same year this print was made. She is simply referred to as ‘Solicitor’ in both pieces. The etching may have been made as part of preparatory studies for the painting as Freud worked on his etchings from life. Head of Bruce Bernard (1985) is also likely to be a preparatory work for the two portraits Freud later painted of him. Contrary to Gurland, Bruce is named maybe because he was publicly known as a writer and photographer, or perhaps because he was a personal friend?

As with Picasso’s Vollard Suite, Louise Bourgeois explored her own life, identity and inner world in her work. Stamp of Memories I and II (1993) explore her feelings toward her father, in the first dry point print her naked body is entirely branded by her father’s monograph, and she carries three eggs on her head symbolising her children. In the second print she bares her own monograph, a modern ‘LB’, perhaps she has discarded a feeling of ownership? She now has her own children to care for. Bourgeois said of the eggs in these prints “...she takes them with her and hides them using her hair. She takes them away. She was not prepared... She is very vulnerable. When she expressed joie de vivre, some people objected. So, don't make the gods jealous... if you have a beautiful child, hide it,” hinting at an anxiety surrounding motherhood.

Untitled 7/28/89, Carroll Dunham

Among the more well-known artists represented in the exhibition, make sure to look out for two lesser-known artists, worth mentioning as Hamish Parker championed their work and has cast them into the spotlight through the bequest. Al Taylor (1948-1999) was an American conceptual artist who made 3-D 'constructions’ which he viewed as drawings in space. A selection of Taylor’s charcoal drawings and prints is displayed alongside the work of Carroll Dunham (b. 1949). Also American, Dunham made his name as a painter, with the selection of work displayed tracing his move from abstraction to figuration.

Print for a Politician, Grayson Perry, 2003

One of the most amusing prints is a large etching by artist and social commentator Grayson Perry; Print for a Politician (2003) is actually comprised of three separate etching plates assembled into a 2.5 metre Panoramic aerial view of an imaginary faux political landscape inspired by Medieval maps. The viewer is led on an amusing journey through this land in which Perry satirises the fragmentation of society into tribes. As we travel from sea through valleys and across mountains we observe a mirroring between different religious groups and contemporary social ‘movements’. Lifestyles of groups including ‘Fitness Fanatics’ and ‘Childless Couples’ are depicted in bizarre settings against a backdrop of war. ‘Male Chauvinist Pigs’ lock horns with ‘Neo-pagans’, and ‘Parents’, a town housing ‘Christians’ and ‘Liberals’ is in flames at war with ‘Sikhs’ and ‘Scientists’. Perry imagined the piece hanging in a minister's office, helping him to temper any prejudices he may have. The viewer could walk away with the impression that we are all just small groups fighting each other to belong to insignificant demographics, but there is a darker side to the work with the inclusion of groups such as ‘Nazis’, ‘Perverts’ and ‘Al-Qaeda’, raising deeper moral questions of which battles are worth fighting? Who decides how and who to eliminate from the political landscape?

Art on Paper since 1960: The Hamish Parker Collection is showing at The British Museum until 5th March. Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app when you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
17/01/2023
Reviews
Alfred Portman
The British Museum's Free Hidden Exhibition
Our take on The British Museum's Art on Paper since 1960, spotlighting some of the best works in the Hamish Parker Collection...

Enter the British Museum not from the front but the back, passing through the doors on Montague Place and thereby skipping the queue, ascend the stairs of the North Wing - an Edwardian extension to the Museum - and a towering white marble Amitābha Buddha elegantly fills the stairwell standing on a lotus base and shrouded by stairs of Greek marble. At the top of the stairs (there is also an incredible gilt lift crested with King Edward VIII’s cypher), you will find Room 90, in which a temporary exhibition highlights prizes from the Hamish Parker bequest, including work from Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, Louise Bourgeois, Grayson Perry, Yayoi Kusama and Pablo Picasso.

In the first display case we are greeted by Reclining Sculptor Before The Small Torso (1933) part of Picasso’s Vollard Suite, a series of etchings which has been ranked one of the greatest graphic achievements of the 20th century. Certainly, a masterpiece in the medium of etching. The series was commissioned by art dealer Ambroise Vollard and contains over 100 prints that reveal the inner workings of Picasso’s mind. Due to Vollard’s tragic death in a car crash the prints remained in storage and weren’t published until the 1950s when they were bought by art dealer Henri Petiet. It had always been an ambition of the Museum to acquire the full set and, thanks to a generous donation by Parker in 2012, the museum was able to purchase the suite directly from Petiet's heirs.

Winter, Tretire, Frank Auerbach, 1975-6

From etching to collage, life drawing to conceptual pieces the exhibition is a unique opportunity to see this work in the flesh as it is usually only available on request or through the Museum’s Digital Archive (which doesn’t have pictures for everything… yet!). On the wall beside the Picasso case is a series of works by Frank Auerbach. Winter in Tretire, (1975-6) is a charcoal drawing of the view from an upstairs window at a house in rural Herefordshire. Auerbach’s use of a haze of energetic line has been reduced to near abstraction as he focuses on depicting the tree from the vista in Tree at Tretire I and II (1975). The depth of the drawing is achieved in the prints by combining screenprinting with lighter etching.

Head of Bruce Bernard, Lucian Freud, 1985

After Auerbach the wall display moves to Freud and Bourgeois. Solicitors Head (2003) is an etching by Freud. In contrast to his paintings which tend to show the sitter in full-length, Freud’s etchings focus on the head. After Marilyn Gurland wrote to Freud proposing herself as a sitter, he painted her reclining naked on a bed, in the same year this print was made. She is simply referred to as ‘Solicitor’ in both pieces. The etching may have been made as part of preparatory studies for the painting as Freud worked on his etchings from life. Head of Bruce Bernard (1985) is also likely to be a preparatory work for the two portraits Freud later painted of him. Contrary to Gurland, Bruce is named maybe because he was publicly known as a writer and photographer, or perhaps because he was a personal friend?

As with Picasso’s Vollard Suite, Louise Bourgeois explored her own life, identity and inner world in her work. Stamp of Memories I and II (1993) explore her feelings toward her father, in the first dry point print her naked body is entirely branded by her father’s monograph, and she carries three eggs on her head symbolising her children. In the second print she bares her own monograph, a modern ‘LB’, perhaps she has discarded a feeling of ownership? She now has her own children to care for. Bourgeois said of the eggs in these prints “...she takes them with her and hides them using her hair. She takes them away. She was not prepared... She is very vulnerable. When she expressed joie de vivre, some people objected. So, don't make the gods jealous... if you have a beautiful child, hide it,” hinting at an anxiety surrounding motherhood.

Untitled 7/28/89, Carroll Dunham

Among the more well-known artists represented in the exhibition, make sure to look out for two lesser-known artists, worth mentioning as Hamish Parker championed their work and has cast them into the spotlight through the bequest. Al Taylor (1948-1999) was an American conceptual artist who made 3-D 'constructions’ which he viewed as drawings in space. A selection of Taylor’s charcoal drawings and prints is displayed alongside the work of Carroll Dunham (b. 1949). Also American, Dunham made his name as a painter, with the selection of work displayed tracing his move from abstraction to figuration.

Print for a Politician, Grayson Perry, 2003

One of the most amusing prints is a large etching by artist and social commentator Grayson Perry; Print for a Politician (2003) is actually comprised of three separate etching plates assembled into a 2.5 metre Panoramic aerial view of an imaginary faux political landscape inspired by Medieval maps. The viewer is led on an amusing journey through this land in which Perry satirises the fragmentation of society into tribes. As we travel from sea through valleys and across mountains we observe a mirroring between different religious groups and contemporary social ‘movements’. Lifestyles of groups including ‘Fitness Fanatics’ and ‘Childless Couples’ are depicted in bizarre settings against a backdrop of war. ‘Male Chauvinist Pigs’ lock horns with ‘Neo-pagans’, and ‘Parents’, a town housing ‘Christians’ and ‘Liberals’ is in flames at war with ‘Sikhs’ and ‘Scientists’. Perry imagined the piece hanging in a minister's office, helping him to temper any prejudices he may have. The viewer could walk away with the impression that we are all just small groups fighting each other to belong to insignificant demographics, but there is a darker side to the work with the inclusion of groups such as ‘Nazis’, ‘Perverts’ and ‘Al-Qaeda’, raising deeper moral questions of which battles are worth fighting? Who decides how and who to eliminate from the political landscape?

Art on Paper since 1960: The Hamish Parker Collection is showing at The British Museum until 5th March. Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app when you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
17/01/2023
Reviews
Alfred Portman
The British Museum's Free Hidden Exhibition
Our take on The British Museum's Art on Paper since 1960, spotlighting some of the best works in the Hamish Parker Collection...

Enter the British Museum not from the front but the back, passing through the doors on Montague Place and thereby skipping the queue, ascend the stairs of the North Wing - an Edwardian extension to the Museum - and a towering white marble Amitābha Buddha elegantly fills the stairwell standing on a lotus base and shrouded by stairs of Greek marble. At the top of the stairs (there is also an incredible gilt lift crested with King Edward VIII’s cypher), you will find Room 90, in which a temporary exhibition highlights prizes from the Hamish Parker bequest, including work from Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, Louise Bourgeois, Grayson Perry, Yayoi Kusama and Pablo Picasso.

In the first display case we are greeted by Reclining Sculptor Before The Small Torso (1933) part of Picasso’s Vollard Suite, a series of etchings which has been ranked one of the greatest graphic achievements of the 20th century. Certainly, a masterpiece in the medium of etching. The series was commissioned by art dealer Ambroise Vollard and contains over 100 prints that reveal the inner workings of Picasso’s mind. Due to Vollard’s tragic death in a car crash the prints remained in storage and weren’t published until the 1950s when they were bought by art dealer Henri Petiet. It had always been an ambition of the Museum to acquire the full set and, thanks to a generous donation by Parker in 2012, the museum was able to purchase the suite directly from Petiet's heirs.

Winter, Tretire, Frank Auerbach, 1975-6

From etching to collage, life drawing to conceptual pieces the exhibition is a unique opportunity to see this work in the flesh as it is usually only available on request or through the Museum’s Digital Archive (which doesn’t have pictures for everything… yet!). On the wall beside the Picasso case is a series of works by Frank Auerbach. Winter in Tretire, (1975-6) is a charcoal drawing of the view from an upstairs window at a house in rural Herefordshire. Auerbach’s use of a haze of energetic line has been reduced to near abstraction as he focuses on depicting the tree from the vista in Tree at Tretire I and II (1975). The depth of the drawing is achieved in the prints by combining screenprinting with lighter etching.

Head of Bruce Bernard, Lucian Freud, 1985

After Auerbach the wall display moves to Freud and Bourgeois. Solicitors Head (2003) is an etching by Freud. In contrast to his paintings which tend to show the sitter in full-length, Freud’s etchings focus on the head. After Marilyn Gurland wrote to Freud proposing herself as a sitter, he painted her reclining naked on a bed, in the same year this print was made. She is simply referred to as ‘Solicitor’ in both pieces. The etching may have been made as part of preparatory studies for the painting as Freud worked on his etchings from life. Head of Bruce Bernard (1985) is also likely to be a preparatory work for the two portraits Freud later painted of him. Contrary to Gurland, Bruce is named maybe because he was publicly known as a writer and photographer, or perhaps because he was a personal friend?

As with Picasso’s Vollard Suite, Louise Bourgeois explored her own life, identity and inner world in her work. Stamp of Memories I and II (1993) explore her feelings toward her father, in the first dry point print her naked body is entirely branded by her father’s monograph, and she carries three eggs on her head symbolising her children. In the second print she bares her own monograph, a modern ‘LB’, perhaps she has discarded a feeling of ownership? She now has her own children to care for. Bourgeois said of the eggs in these prints “...she takes them with her and hides them using her hair. She takes them away. She was not prepared... She is very vulnerable. When she expressed joie de vivre, some people objected. So, don't make the gods jealous... if you have a beautiful child, hide it,” hinting at an anxiety surrounding motherhood.

Untitled 7/28/89, Carroll Dunham

Among the more well-known artists represented in the exhibition, make sure to look out for two lesser-known artists, worth mentioning as Hamish Parker championed their work and has cast them into the spotlight through the bequest. Al Taylor (1948-1999) was an American conceptual artist who made 3-D 'constructions’ which he viewed as drawings in space. A selection of Taylor’s charcoal drawings and prints is displayed alongside the work of Carroll Dunham (b. 1949). Also American, Dunham made his name as a painter, with the selection of work displayed tracing his move from abstraction to figuration.

Print for a Politician, Grayson Perry, 2003

One of the most amusing prints is a large etching by artist and social commentator Grayson Perry; Print for a Politician (2003) is actually comprised of three separate etching plates assembled into a 2.5 metre Panoramic aerial view of an imaginary faux political landscape inspired by Medieval maps. The viewer is led on an amusing journey through this land in which Perry satirises the fragmentation of society into tribes. As we travel from sea through valleys and across mountains we observe a mirroring between different religious groups and contemporary social ‘movements’. Lifestyles of groups including ‘Fitness Fanatics’ and ‘Childless Couples’ are depicted in bizarre settings against a backdrop of war. ‘Male Chauvinist Pigs’ lock horns with ‘Neo-pagans’, and ‘Parents’, a town housing ‘Christians’ and ‘Liberals’ is in flames at war with ‘Sikhs’ and ‘Scientists’. Perry imagined the piece hanging in a minister's office, helping him to temper any prejudices he may have. The viewer could walk away with the impression that we are all just small groups fighting each other to belong to insignificant demographics, but there is a darker side to the work with the inclusion of groups such as ‘Nazis’, ‘Perverts’ and ‘Al-Qaeda’, raising deeper moral questions of which battles are worth fighting? Who decides how and who to eliminate from the political landscape?

Art on Paper since 1960: The Hamish Parker Collection is showing at The British Museum until 5th March. Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app when you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
17/01/2023
Reviews
Alfred Portman
The British Museum's Free Hidden Exhibition
Our take on The British Museum's Art on Paper since 1960, spotlighting some of the best works in the Hamish Parker Collection...

Enter the British Museum not from the front but the back, passing through the doors on Montague Place and thereby skipping the queue, ascend the stairs of the North Wing - an Edwardian extension to the Museum - and a towering white marble Amitābha Buddha elegantly fills the stairwell standing on a lotus base and shrouded by stairs of Greek marble. At the top of the stairs (there is also an incredible gilt lift crested with King Edward VIII’s cypher), you will find Room 90, in which a temporary exhibition highlights prizes from the Hamish Parker bequest, including work from Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, Louise Bourgeois, Grayson Perry, Yayoi Kusama and Pablo Picasso.

In the first display case we are greeted by Reclining Sculptor Before The Small Torso (1933) part of Picasso’s Vollard Suite, a series of etchings which has been ranked one of the greatest graphic achievements of the 20th century. Certainly, a masterpiece in the medium of etching. The series was commissioned by art dealer Ambroise Vollard and contains over 100 prints that reveal the inner workings of Picasso’s mind. Due to Vollard’s tragic death in a car crash the prints remained in storage and weren’t published until the 1950s when they were bought by art dealer Henri Petiet. It had always been an ambition of the Museum to acquire the full set and, thanks to a generous donation by Parker in 2012, the museum was able to purchase the suite directly from Petiet's heirs.

Winter, Tretire, Frank Auerbach, 1975-6

From etching to collage, life drawing to conceptual pieces the exhibition is a unique opportunity to see this work in the flesh as it is usually only available on request or through the Museum’s Digital Archive (which doesn’t have pictures for everything… yet!). On the wall beside the Picasso case is a series of works by Frank Auerbach. Winter in Tretire, (1975-6) is a charcoal drawing of the view from an upstairs window at a house in rural Herefordshire. Auerbach’s use of a haze of energetic line has been reduced to near abstraction as he focuses on depicting the tree from the vista in Tree at Tretire I and II (1975). The depth of the drawing is achieved in the prints by combining screenprinting with lighter etching.

Head of Bruce Bernard, Lucian Freud, 1985

After Auerbach the wall display moves to Freud and Bourgeois. Solicitors Head (2003) is an etching by Freud. In contrast to his paintings which tend to show the sitter in full-length, Freud’s etchings focus on the head. After Marilyn Gurland wrote to Freud proposing herself as a sitter, he painted her reclining naked on a bed, in the same year this print was made. She is simply referred to as ‘Solicitor’ in both pieces. The etching may have been made as part of preparatory studies for the painting as Freud worked on his etchings from life. Head of Bruce Bernard (1985) is also likely to be a preparatory work for the two portraits Freud later painted of him. Contrary to Gurland, Bruce is named maybe because he was publicly known as a writer and photographer, or perhaps because he was a personal friend?

As with Picasso’s Vollard Suite, Louise Bourgeois explored her own life, identity and inner world in her work. Stamp of Memories I and II (1993) explore her feelings toward her father, in the first dry point print her naked body is entirely branded by her father’s monograph, and she carries three eggs on her head symbolising her children. In the second print she bares her own monograph, a modern ‘LB’, perhaps she has discarded a feeling of ownership? She now has her own children to care for. Bourgeois said of the eggs in these prints “...she takes them with her and hides them using her hair. She takes them away. She was not prepared... She is very vulnerable. When she expressed joie de vivre, some people objected. So, don't make the gods jealous... if you have a beautiful child, hide it,” hinting at an anxiety surrounding motherhood.

Untitled 7/28/89, Carroll Dunham

Among the more well-known artists represented in the exhibition, make sure to look out for two lesser-known artists, worth mentioning as Hamish Parker championed their work and has cast them into the spotlight through the bequest. Al Taylor (1948-1999) was an American conceptual artist who made 3-D 'constructions’ which he viewed as drawings in space. A selection of Taylor’s charcoal drawings and prints is displayed alongside the work of Carroll Dunham (b. 1949). Also American, Dunham made his name as a painter, with the selection of work displayed tracing his move from abstraction to figuration.

Print for a Politician, Grayson Perry, 2003

One of the most amusing prints is a large etching by artist and social commentator Grayson Perry; Print for a Politician (2003) is actually comprised of three separate etching plates assembled into a 2.5 metre Panoramic aerial view of an imaginary faux political landscape inspired by Medieval maps. The viewer is led on an amusing journey through this land in which Perry satirises the fragmentation of society into tribes. As we travel from sea through valleys and across mountains we observe a mirroring between different religious groups and contemporary social ‘movements’. Lifestyles of groups including ‘Fitness Fanatics’ and ‘Childless Couples’ are depicted in bizarre settings against a backdrop of war. ‘Male Chauvinist Pigs’ lock horns with ‘Neo-pagans’, and ‘Parents’, a town housing ‘Christians’ and ‘Liberals’ is in flames at war with ‘Sikhs’ and ‘Scientists’. Perry imagined the piece hanging in a minister's office, helping him to temper any prejudices he may have. The viewer could walk away with the impression that we are all just small groups fighting each other to belong to insignificant demographics, but there is a darker side to the work with the inclusion of groups such as ‘Nazis’, ‘Perverts’ and ‘Al-Qaeda’, raising deeper moral questions of which battles are worth fighting? Who decides how and who to eliminate from the political landscape?

Art on Paper since 1960: The Hamish Parker Collection is showing at The British Museum until 5th March. Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app when you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
17/01/2023
Reviews
Alfred Portman
The British Museum's Free Hidden Exhibition

Enter the British Museum not from the front but the back, passing through the doors on Montague Place and thereby skipping the queue, ascend the stairs of the North Wing - an Edwardian extension to the Museum - and a towering white marble Amitābha Buddha elegantly fills the stairwell standing on a lotus base and shrouded by stairs of Greek marble. At the top of the stairs (there is also an incredible gilt lift crested with King Edward VIII’s cypher), you will find Room 90, in which a temporary exhibition highlights prizes from the Hamish Parker bequest, including work from Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, Louise Bourgeois, Grayson Perry, Yayoi Kusama and Pablo Picasso.

In the first display case we are greeted by Reclining Sculptor Before The Small Torso (1933) part of Picasso’s Vollard Suite, a series of etchings which has been ranked one of the greatest graphic achievements of the 20th century. Certainly, a masterpiece in the medium of etching. The series was commissioned by art dealer Ambroise Vollard and contains over 100 prints that reveal the inner workings of Picasso’s mind. Due to Vollard’s tragic death in a car crash the prints remained in storage and weren’t published until the 1950s when they were bought by art dealer Henri Petiet. It had always been an ambition of the Museum to acquire the full set and, thanks to a generous donation by Parker in 2012, the museum was able to purchase the suite directly from Petiet's heirs.

Winter, Tretire, Frank Auerbach, 1975-6

From etching to collage, life drawing to conceptual pieces the exhibition is a unique opportunity to see this work in the flesh as it is usually only available on request or through the Museum’s Digital Archive (which doesn’t have pictures for everything… yet!). On the wall beside the Picasso case is a series of works by Frank Auerbach. Winter in Tretire, (1975-6) is a charcoal drawing of the view from an upstairs window at a house in rural Herefordshire. Auerbach’s use of a haze of energetic line has been reduced to near abstraction as he focuses on depicting the tree from the vista in Tree at Tretire I and II (1975). The depth of the drawing is achieved in the prints by combining screenprinting with lighter etching.

Head of Bruce Bernard, Lucian Freud, 1985

After Auerbach the wall display moves to Freud and Bourgeois. Solicitors Head (2003) is an etching by Freud. In contrast to his paintings which tend to show the sitter in full-length, Freud’s etchings focus on the head. After Marilyn Gurland wrote to Freud proposing herself as a sitter, he painted her reclining naked on a bed, in the same year this print was made. She is simply referred to as ‘Solicitor’ in both pieces. The etching may have been made as part of preparatory studies for the painting as Freud worked on his etchings from life. Head of Bruce Bernard (1985) is also likely to be a preparatory work for the two portraits Freud later painted of him. Contrary to Gurland, Bruce is named maybe because he was publicly known as a writer and photographer, or perhaps because he was a personal friend?

As with Picasso’s Vollard Suite, Louise Bourgeois explored her own life, identity and inner world in her work. Stamp of Memories I and II (1993) explore her feelings toward her father, in the first dry point print her naked body is entirely branded by her father’s monograph, and she carries three eggs on her head symbolising her children. In the second print she bares her own monograph, a modern ‘LB’, perhaps she has discarded a feeling of ownership? She now has her own children to care for. Bourgeois said of the eggs in these prints “...she takes them with her and hides them using her hair. She takes them away. She was not prepared... She is very vulnerable. When she expressed joie de vivre, some people objected. So, don't make the gods jealous... if you have a beautiful child, hide it,” hinting at an anxiety surrounding motherhood.

Untitled 7/28/89, Carroll Dunham

Among the more well-known artists represented in the exhibition, make sure to look out for two lesser-known artists, worth mentioning as Hamish Parker championed their work and has cast them into the spotlight through the bequest. Al Taylor (1948-1999) was an American conceptual artist who made 3-D 'constructions’ which he viewed as drawings in space. A selection of Taylor’s charcoal drawings and prints is displayed alongside the work of Carroll Dunham (b. 1949). Also American, Dunham made his name as a painter, with the selection of work displayed tracing his move from abstraction to figuration.

Print for a Politician, Grayson Perry, 2003

One of the most amusing prints is a large etching by artist and social commentator Grayson Perry; Print for a Politician (2003) is actually comprised of three separate etching plates assembled into a 2.5 metre Panoramic aerial view of an imaginary faux political landscape inspired by Medieval maps. The viewer is led on an amusing journey through this land in which Perry satirises the fragmentation of society into tribes. As we travel from sea through valleys and across mountains we observe a mirroring between different religious groups and contemporary social ‘movements’. Lifestyles of groups including ‘Fitness Fanatics’ and ‘Childless Couples’ are depicted in bizarre settings against a backdrop of war. ‘Male Chauvinist Pigs’ lock horns with ‘Neo-pagans’, and ‘Parents’, a town housing ‘Christians’ and ‘Liberals’ is in flames at war with ‘Sikhs’ and ‘Scientists’. Perry imagined the piece hanging in a minister's office, helping him to temper any prejudices he may have. The viewer could walk away with the impression that we are all just small groups fighting each other to belong to insignificant demographics, but there is a darker side to the work with the inclusion of groups such as ‘Nazis’, ‘Perverts’ and ‘Al-Qaeda’, raising deeper moral questions of which battles are worth fighting? Who decides how and who to eliminate from the political landscape?

Art on Paper since 1960: The Hamish Parker Collection is showing at The British Museum until 5th March. Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app when you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
17/01/2023
Reviews
Alfred Portman
The British Museum's Free Hidden Exhibition
Our take on The British Museum's Art on Paper since 1960, spotlighting some of the best works in the Hamish Parker Collection...

Enter the British Museum not from the front but the back, passing through the doors on Montague Place and thereby skipping the queue, ascend the stairs of the North Wing - an Edwardian extension to the Museum - and a towering white marble Amitābha Buddha elegantly fills the stairwell standing on a lotus base and shrouded by stairs of Greek marble. At the top of the stairs (there is also an incredible gilt lift crested with King Edward VIII’s cypher), you will find Room 90, in which a temporary exhibition highlights prizes from the Hamish Parker bequest, including work from Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, Louise Bourgeois, Grayson Perry, Yayoi Kusama and Pablo Picasso.

In the first display case we are greeted by Reclining Sculptor Before The Small Torso (1933) part of Picasso’s Vollard Suite, a series of etchings which has been ranked one of the greatest graphic achievements of the 20th century. Certainly, a masterpiece in the medium of etching. The series was commissioned by art dealer Ambroise Vollard and contains over 100 prints that reveal the inner workings of Picasso’s mind. Due to Vollard’s tragic death in a car crash the prints remained in storage and weren’t published until the 1950s when they were bought by art dealer Henri Petiet. It had always been an ambition of the Museum to acquire the full set and, thanks to a generous donation by Parker in 2012, the museum was able to purchase the suite directly from Petiet's heirs.

Winter, Tretire, Frank Auerbach, 1975-6

From etching to collage, life drawing to conceptual pieces the exhibition is a unique opportunity to see this work in the flesh as it is usually only available on request or through the Museum’s Digital Archive (which doesn’t have pictures for everything… yet!). On the wall beside the Picasso case is a series of works by Frank Auerbach. Winter in Tretire, (1975-6) is a charcoal drawing of the view from an upstairs window at a house in rural Herefordshire. Auerbach’s use of a haze of energetic line has been reduced to near abstraction as he focuses on depicting the tree from the vista in Tree at Tretire I and II (1975). The depth of the drawing is achieved in the prints by combining screenprinting with lighter etching.

Head of Bruce Bernard, Lucian Freud, 1985

After Auerbach the wall display moves to Freud and Bourgeois. Solicitors Head (2003) is an etching by Freud. In contrast to his paintings which tend to show the sitter in full-length, Freud’s etchings focus on the head. After Marilyn Gurland wrote to Freud proposing herself as a sitter, he painted her reclining naked on a bed, in the same year this print was made. She is simply referred to as ‘Solicitor’ in both pieces. The etching may have been made as part of preparatory studies for the painting as Freud worked on his etchings from life. Head of Bruce Bernard (1985) is also likely to be a preparatory work for the two portraits Freud later painted of him. Contrary to Gurland, Bruce is named maybe because he was publicly known as a writer and photographer, or perhaps because he was a personal friend?

As with Picasso’s Vollard Suite, Louise Bourgeois explored her own life, identity and inner world in her work. Stamp of Memories I and II (1993) explore her feelings toward her father, in the first dry point print her naked body is entirely branded by her father’s monograph, and she carries three eggs on her head symbolising her children. In the second print she bares her own monograph, a modern ‘LB’, perhaps she has discarded a feeling of ownership? She now has her own children to care for. Bourgeois said of the eggs in these prints “...she takes them with her and hides them using her hair. She takes them away. She was not prepared... She is very vulnerable. When she expressed joie de vivre, some people objected. So, don't make the gods jealous... if you have a beautiful child, hide it,” hinting at an anxiety surrounding motherhood.

Untitled 7/28/89, Carroll Dunham

Among the more well-known artists represented in the exhibition, make sure to look out for two lesser-known artists, worth mentioning as Hamish Parker championed their work and has cast them into the spotlight through the bequest. Al Taylor (1948-1999) was an American conceptual artist who made 3-D 'constructions’ which he viewed as drawings in space. A selection of Taylor’s charcoal drawings and prints is displayed alongside the work of Carroll Dunham (b. 1949). Also American, Dunham made his name as a painter, with the selection of work displayed tracing his move from abstraction to figuration.

Print for a Politician, Grayson Perry, 2003

One of the most amusing prints is a large etching by artist and social commentator Grayson Perry; Print for a Politician (2003) is actually comprised of three separate etching plates assembled into a 2.5 metre Panoramic aerial view of an imaginary faux political landscape inspired by Medieval maps. The viewer is led on an amusing journey through this land in which Perry satirises the fragmentation of society into tribes. As we travel from sea through valleys and across mountains we observe a mirroring between different religious groups and contemporary social ‘movements’. Lifestyles of groups including ‘Fitness Fanatics’ and ‘Childless Couples’ are depicted in bizarre settings against a backdrop of war. ‘Male Chauvinist Pigs’ lock horns with ‘Neo-pagans’, and ‘Parents’, a town housing ‘Christians’ and ‘Liberals’ is in flames at war with ‘Sikhs’ and ‘Scientists’. Perry imagined the piece hanging in a minister's office, helping him to temper any prejudices he may have. The viewer could walk away with the impression that we are all just small groups fighting each other to belong to insignificant demographics, but there is a darker side to the work with the inclusion of groups such as ‘Nazis’, ‘Perverts’ and ‘Al-Qaeda’, raising deeper moral questions of which battles are worth fighting? Who decides how and who to eliminate from the political landscape?

Art on Paper since 1960: The Hamish Parker Collection is showing at The British Museum until 5th March. Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app when you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
17/01/2023
Reviews
Alfred Portman
The British Museum's Free Hidden Exhibition
Our take on The British Museum's Art on Paper since 1960, spotlighting some of the best works in the Hamish Parker Collection...

Enter the British Museum not from the front but the back, passing through the doors on Montague Place and thereby skipping the queue, ascend the stairs of the North Wing - an Edwardian extension to the Museum - and a towering white marble Amitābha Buddha elegantly fills the stairwell standing on a lotus base and shrouded by stairs of Greek marble. At the top of the stairs (there is also an incredible gilt lift crested with King Edward VIII’s cypher), you will find Room 90, in which a temporary exhibition highlights prizes from the Hamish Parker bequest, including work from Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, Louise Bourgeois, Grayson Perry, Yayoi Kusama and Pablo Picasso.

In the first display case we are greeted by Reclining Sculptor Before The Small Torso (1933) part of Picasso’s Vollard Suite, a series of etchings which has been ranked one of the greatest graphic achievements of the 20th century. Certainly, a masterpiece in the medium of etching. The series was commissioned by art dealer Ambroise Vollard and contains over 100 prints that reveal the inner workings of Picasso’s mind. Due to Vollard’s tragic death in a car crash the prints remained in storage and weren’t published until the 1950s when they were bought by art dealer Henri Petiet. It had always been an ambition of the Museum to acquire the full set and, thanks to a generous donation by Parker in 2012, the museum was able to purchase the suite directly from Petiet's heirs.

Winter, Tretire, Frank Auerbach, 1975-6

From etching to collage, life drawing to conceptual pieces the exhibition is a unique opportunity to see this work in the flesh as it is usually only available on request or through the Museum’s Digital Archive (which doesn’t have pictures for everything… yet!). On the wall beside the Picasso case is a series of works by Frank Auerbach. Winter in Tretire, (1975-6) is a charcoal drawing of the view from an upstairs window at a house in rural Herefordshire. Auerbach’s use of a haze of energetic line has been reduced to near abstraction as he focuses on depicting the tree from the vista in Tree at Tretire I and II (1975). The depth of the drawing is achieved in the prints by combining screenprinting with lighter etching.

Head of Bruce Bernard, Lucian Freud, 1985

After Auerbach the wall display moves to Freud and Bourgeois. Solicitors Head (2003) is an etching by Freud. In contrast to his paintings which tend to show the sitter in full-length, Freud’s etchings focus on the head. After Marilyn Gurland wrote to Freud proposing herself as a sitter, he painted her reclining naked on a bed, in the same year this print was made. She is simply referred to as ‘Solicitor’ in both pieces. The etching may have been made as part of preparatory studies for the painting as Freud worked on his etchings from life. Head of Bruce Bernard (1985) is also likely to be a preparatory work for the two portraits Freud later painted of him. Contrary to Gurland, Bruce is named maybe because he was publicly known as a writer and photographer, or perhaps because he was a personal friend?

As with Picasso’s Vollard Suite, Louise Bourgeois explored her own life, identity and inner world in her work. Stamp of Memories I and II (1993) explore her feelings toward her father, in the first dry point print her naked body is entirely branded by her father’s monograph, and she carries three eggs on her head symbolising her children. In the second print she bares her own monograph, a modern ‘LB’, perhaps she has discarded a feeling of ownership? She now has her own children to care for. Bourgeois said of the eggs in these prints “...she takes them with her and hides them using her hair. She takes them away. She was not prepared... She is very vulnerable. When she expressed joie de vivre, some people objected. So, don't make the gods jealous... if you have a beautiful child, hide it,” hinting at an anxiety surrounding motherhood.

Untitled 7/28/89, Carroll Dunham

Among the more well-known artists represented in the exhibition, make sure to look out for two lesser-known artists, worth mentioning as Hamish Parker championed their work and has cast them into the spotlight through the bequest. Al Taylor (1948-1999) was an American conceptual artist who made 3-D 'constructions’ which he viewed as drawings in space. A selection of Taylor’s charcoal drawings and prints is displayed alongside the work of Carroll Dunham (b. 1949). Also American, Dunham made his name as a painter, with the selection of work displayed tracing his move from abstraction to figuration.

Print for a Politician, Grayson Perry, 2003

One of the most amusing prints is a large etching by artist and social commentator Grayson Perry; Print for a Politician (2003) is actually comprised of three separate etching plates assembled into a 2.5 metre Panoramic aerial view of an imaginary faux political landscape inspired by Medieval maps. The viewer is led on an amusing journey through this land in which Perry satirises the fragmentation of society into tribes. As we travel from sea through valleys and across mountains we observe a mirroring between different religious groups and contemporary social ‘movements’. Lifestyles of groups including ‘Fitness Fanatics’ and ‘Childless Couples’ are depicted in bizarre settings against a backdrop of war. ‘Male Chauvinist Pigs’ lock horns with ‘Neo-pagans’, and ‘Parents’, a town housing ‘Christians’ and ‘Liberals’ is in flames at war with ‘Sikhs’ and ‘Scientists’. Perry imagined the piece hanging in a minister's office, helping him to temper any prejudices he may have. The viewer could walk away with the impression that we are all just small groups fighting each other to belong to insignificant demographics, but there is a darker side to the work with the inclusion of groups such as ‘Nazis’, ‘Perverts’ and ‘Al-Qaeda’, raising deeper moral questions of which battles are worth fighting? Who decides how and who to eliminate from the political landscape?

Art on Paper since 1960: The Hamish Parker Collection is showing at The British Museum until 5th March. Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app when you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
17/01/2023
Reviews
Alfred Portman
The British Museum's Free Hidden Exhibition
Our take on The British Museum's Art on Paper since 1960, spotlighting some of the best works in the Hamish Parker Collection...

Enter the British Museum not from the front but the back, passing through the doors on Montague Place and thereby skipping the queue, ascend the stairs of the North Wing - an Edwardian extension to the Museum - and a towering white marble Amitābha Buddha elegantly fills the stairwell standing on a lotus base and shrouded by stairs of Greek marble. At the top of the stairs (there is also an incredible gilt lift crested with King Edward VIII’s cypher), you will find Room 90, in which a temporary exhibition highlights prizes from the Hamish Parker bequest, including work from Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, Louise Bourgeois, Grayson Perry, Yayoi Kusama and Pablo Picasso.

In the first display case we are greeted by Reclining Sculptor Before The Small Torso (1933) part of Picasso’s Vollard Suite, a series of etchings which has been ranked one of the greatest graphic achievements of the 20th century. Certainly, a masterpiece in the medium of etching. The series was commissioned by art dealer Ambroise Vollard and contains over 100 prints that reveal the inner workings of Picasso’s mind. Due to Vollard’s tragic death in a car crash the prints remained in storage and weren’t published until the 1950s when they were bought by art dealer Henri Petiet. It had always been an ambition of the Museum to acquire the full set and, thanks to a generous donation by Parker in 2012, the museum was able to purchase the suite directly from Petiet's heirs.

Winter, Tretire, Frank Auerbach, 1975-6

From etching to collage, life drawing to conceptual pieces the exhibition is a unique opportunity to see this work in the flesh as it is usually only available on request or through the Museum’s Digital Archive (which doesn’t have pictures for everything… yet!). On the wall beside the Picasso case is a series of works by Frank Auerbach. Winter in Tretire, (1975-6) is a charcoal drawing of the view from an upstairs window at a house in rural Herefordshire. Auerbach’s use of a haze of energetic line has been reduced to near abstraction as he focuses on depicting the tree from the vista in Tree at Tretire I and II (1975). The depth of the drawing is achieved in the prints by combining screenprinting with lighter etching.

Head of Bruce Bernard, Lucian Freud, 1985

After Auerbach the wall display moves to Freud and Bourgeois. Solicitors Head (2003) is an etching by Freud. In contrast to his paintings which tend to show the sitter in full-length, Freud’s etchings focus on the head. After Marilyn Gurland wrote to Freud proposing herself as a sitter, he painted her reclining naked on a bed, in the same year this print was made. She is simply referred to as ‘Solicitor’ in both pieces. The etching may have been made as part of preparatory studies for the painting as Freud worked on his etchings from life. Head of Bruce Bernard (1985) is also likely to be a preparatory work for the two portraits Freud later painted of him. Contrary to Gurland, Bruce is named maybe because he was publicly known as a writer and photographer, or perhaps because he was a personal friend?

As with Picasso’s Vollard Suite, Louise Bourgeois explored her own life, identity and inner world in her work. Stamp of Memories I and II (1993) explore her feelings toward her father, in the first dry point print her naked body is entirely branded by her father’s monograph, and she carries three eggs on her head symbolising her children. In the second print she bares her own monograph, a modern ‘LB’, perhaps she has discarded a feeling of ownership? She now has her own children to care for. Bourgeois said of the eggs in these prints “...she takes them with her and hides them using her hair. She takes them away. She was not prepared... She is very vulnerable. When she expressed joie de vivre, some people objected. So, don't make the gods jealous... if you have a beautiful child, hide it,” hinting at an anxiety surrounding motherhood.

Untitled 7/28/89, Carroll Dunham

Among the more well-known artists represented in the exhibition, make sure to look out for two lesser-known artists, worth mentioning as Hamish Parker championed their work and has cast them into the spotlight through the bequest. Al Taylor (1948-1999) was an American conceptual artist who made 3-D 'constructions’ which he viewed as drawings in space. A selection of Taylor’s charcoal drawings and prints is displayed alongside the work of Carroll Dunham (b. 1949). Also American, Dunham made his name as a painter, with the selection of work displayed tracing his move from abstraction to figuration.

Print for a Politician, Grayson Perry, 2003

One of the most amusing prints is a large etching by artist and social commentator Grayson Perry; Print for a Politician (2003) is actually comprised of three separate etching plates assembled into a 2.5 metre Panoramic aerial view of an imaginary faux political landscape inspired by Medieval maps. The viewer is led on an amusing journey through this land in which Perry satirises the fragmentation of society into tribes. As we travel from sea through valleys and across mountains we observe a mirroring between different religious groups and contemporary social ‘movements’. Lifestyles of groups including ‘Fitness Fanatics’ and ‘Childless Couples’ are depicted in bizarre settings against a backdrop of war. ‘Male Chauvinist Pigs’ lock horns with ‘Neo-pagans’, and ‘Parents’, a town housing ‘Christians’ and ‘Liberals’ is in flames at war with ‘Sikhs’ and ‘Scientists’. Perry imagined the piece hanging in a minister's office, helping him to temper any prejudices he may have. The viewer could walk away with the impression that we are all just small groups fighting each other to belong to insignificant demographics, but there is a darker side to the work with the inclusion of groups such as ‘Nazis’, ‘Perverts’ and ‘Al-Qaeda’, raising deeper moral questions of which battles are worth fighting? Who decides how and who to eliminate from the political landscape?

Art on Paper since 1960: The Hamish Parker Collection is showing at The British Museum until 5th March. Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app when you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
17/01/2023
Reviews
Alfred Portman
The British Museum's Free Hidden Exhibition
Our take on The British Museum's Art on Paper since 1960, spotlighting some of the best works in the Hamish Parker Collection...

Enter the British Museum not from the front but the back, passing through the doors on Montague Place and thereby skipping the queue, ascend the stairs of the North Wing - an Edwardian extension to the Museum - and a towering white marble Amitābha Buddha elegantly fills the stairwell standing on a lotus base and shrouded by stairs of Greek marble. At the top of the stairs (there is also an incredible gilt lift crested with King Edward VIII’s cypher), you will find Room 90, in which a temporary exhibition highlights prizes from the Hamish Parker bequest, including work from Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, Louise Bourgeois, Grayson Perry, Yayoi Kusama and Pablo Picasso.

In the first display case we are greeted by Reclining Sculptor Before The Small Torso (1933) part of Picasso’s Vollard Suite, a series of etchings which has been ranked one of the greatest graphic achievements of the 20th century. Certainly, a masterpiece in the medium of etching. The series was commissioned by art dealer Ambroise Vollard and contains over 100 prints that reveal the inner workings of Picasso’s mind. Due to Vollard’s tragic death in a car crash the prints remained in storage and weren’t published until the 1950s when they were bought by art dealer Henri Petiet. It had always been an ambition of the Museum to acquire the full set and, thanks to a generous donation by Parker in 2012, the museum was able to purchase the suite directly from Petiet's heirs.

Winter, Tretire, Frank Auerbach, 1975-6

From etching to collage, life drawing to conceptual pieces the exhibition is a unique opportunity to see this work in the flesh as it is usually only available on request or through the Museum’s Digital Archive (which doesn’t have pictures for everything… yet!). On the wall beside the Picasso case is a series of works by Frank Auerbach. Winter in Tretire, (1975-6) is a charcoal drawing of the view from an upstairs window at a house in rural Herefordshire. Auerbach’s use of a haze of energetic line has been reduced to near abstraction as he focuses on depicting the tree from the vista in Tree at Tretire I and II (1975). The depth of the drawing is achieved in the prints by combining screenprinting with lighter etching.

Head of Bruce Bernard, Lucian Freud, 1985

After Auerbach the wall display moves to Freud and Bourgeois. Solicitors Head (2003) is an etching by Freud. In contrast to his paintings which tend to show the sitter in full-length, Freud’s etchings focus on the head. After Marilyn Gurland wrote to Freud proposing herself as a sitter, he painted her reclining naked on a bed, in the same year this print was made. She is simply referred to as ‘Solicitor’ in both pieces. The etching may have been made as part of preparatory studies for the painting as Freud worked on his etchings from life. Head of Bruce Bernard (1985) is also likely to be a preparatory work for the two portraits Freud later painted of him. Contrary to Gurland, Bruce is named maybe because he was publicly known as a writer and photographer, or perhaps because he was a personal friend?

As with Picasso’s Vollard Suite, Louise Bourgeois explored her own life, identity and inner world in her work. Stamp of Memories I and II (1993) explore her feelings toward her father, in the first dry point print her naked body is entirely branded by her father’s monograph, and she carries three eggs on her head symbolising her children. In the second print she bares her own monograph, a modern ‘LB’, perhaps she has discarded a feeling of ownership? She now has her own children to care for. Bourgeois said of the eggs in these prints “...she takes them with her and hides them using her hair. She takes them away. She was not prepared... She is very vulnerable. When she expressed joie de vivre, some people objected. So, don't make the gods jealous... if you have a beautiful child, hide it,” hinting at an anxiety surrounding motherhood.

Untitled 7/28/89, Carroll Dunham

Among the more well-known artists represented in the exhibition, make sure to look out for two lesser-known artists, worth mentioning as Hamish Parker championed their work and has cast them into the spotlight through the bequest. Al Taylor (1948-1999) was an American conceptual artist who made 3-D 'constructions’ which he viewed as drawings in space. A selection of Taylor’s charcoal drawings and prints is displayed alongside the work of Carroll Dunham (b. 1949). Also American, Dunham made his name as a painter, with the selection of work displayed tracing his move from abstraction to figuration.

Print for a Politician, Grayson Perry, 2003

One of the most amusing prints is a large etching by artist and social commentator Grayson Perry; Print for a Politician (2003) is actually comprised of three separate etching plates assembled into a 2.5 metre Panoramic aerial view of an imaginary faux political landscape inspired by Medieval maps. The viewer is led on an amusing journey through this land in which Perry satirises the fragmentation of society into tribes. As we travel from sea through valleys and across mountains we observe a mirroring between different religious groups and contemporary social ‘movements’. Lifestyles of groups including ‘Fitness Fanatics’ and ‘Childless Couples’ are depicted in bizarre settings against a backdrop of war. ‘Male Chauvinist Pigs’ lock horns with ‘Neo-pagans’, and ‘Parents’, a town housing ‘Christians’ and ‘Liberals’ is in flames at war with ‘Sikhs’ and ‘Scientists’. Perry imagined the piece hanging in a minister's office, helping him to temper any prejudices he may have. The viewer could walk away with the impression that we are all just small groups fighting each other to belong to insignificant demographics, but there is a darker side to the work with the inclusion of groups such as ‘Nazis’, ‘Perverts’ and ‘Al-Qaeda’, raising deeper moral questions of which battles are worth fighting? Who decides how and who to eliminate from the political landscape?

Art on Paper since 1960: The Hamish Parker Collection is showing at The British Museum until 5th March. Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app when you visit!

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
Thanks For Reading
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