Saturday, 19 March 2016

The Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery, Basingstoke.

I've been ill this last week and it's all been a bit dull - these pictures are from the week before when I found myself killing an hour or so in Basingstoke.

The last time I was there I wandered into the town's Art Gallery and Museum and they were 'between' exhibits. The walls were stripped and painted white, ready for the paintings to arrive and to be hung.

I joked with the attendant that it was a fine display of minimalism.

This time the pictures had arrived and I had a little treat. The exhibition is 'Defining Moments - A journey through British Modern Art' and it has assembled a small collection of paintings the curator feels are representative of all the major movements of British Modern Art over the last century or so.

It would certainly be ideal for a school trip - for me?

Actually, yes it worked.

Rather like if a businessman had paid a dealer to put together "one of each, please".
I really liked this; 'Skewed relief' by Peter Lowe of 'Systems Group'.

And I was knocked out by this little picture by Terry Frost, representing the 'St. Ives Group'. I know Frost is part of St. Ives but he was very much a latecomer.

My interest was because I associate Frost with large scale prints in big blocks of primary colours - this is right from the beginning when he turned up in Cornwall looking for an education after the war.

It's a very simple little abstract, full of the alleys and corners of St. Ives,

I also like Peter Wyndham-Lewis's 'The Vorticist' from 1912;

Both eminently 'stealable' paintings!

I'm a long term fan of Bridget Riley so I enjoyed this print;

Untitled and undated but definitely of the 1970's.

There were some other fine pictures but by this time I was stopped from taking pictures.

The older part of the building is a town museum but the archaeological section was shut.

We wandered around a history of life in Basingstoke which included this representation of a 1950's/1960's kitchen;

Much of which I grew up with and quite a lot of still remains in my Mum's kitchen now!

The art is on at The Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery until 16th April and is free to visit.

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
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