The Cratered Landscape

I went to the Barbican Centre to see some exhibitions.

First of all, Postwar Modern.

The entrance features the photograph of Lee Miller in Hitler’s bath (1945) and a big list of everyone included:

I can’t include pictures of every single item, but here are the thematic details from the handout and a selection of images.

“Full Stop” (1961) by John Latham
“The Agony Of Christ” (1958) by Francis Newton Souza
“Mr Sebastian” (1955) by Francis Newton Souza
“Cycle Of Life And Death In A Pond” (1956) by Nigel Henderson
“Bypass I” (1960) by Prunella Clough
“Betty Burden Plays With A Boy In A Bombsite In Birmingham” (1951) by Bert Hardy
“The Fisheater” (1951) by Lynn Chadwick
“The Fisheater” (1951) by Lynn Chadwick
“Early Figures” (1961) by Avinash Chandra
“Guyana X” (1963) by Aubrey Williams
“Rock And Shadow” (1963) by Aubrey Williams
“Eleven Persons and One Donkey Moving Forwards” (1947) by Franciszka Themerson
“Fun And Games” (1961) by Avinash Chandra
“First Contact” (1958) by John McHale
“#8” (1960) by Magda Cordell
“Figure 59” (1958) by Magda Cordell
“Creation Of Eve” (1956) by Alan Davie
“Marriage Feast or Creation Of Man” (1957) by Alan Davie

Across the floor, and from above:

Several works together:

“The Bride With Petunias” (1950) by Sylvia Sleigh
“Hotel Bedroom” (1954) by Lucian Freud
“Hers Is A Lush Situation” (1958) by Richard Hamilton
“Shell Building Site” (1959) by Frank Auerbach
“Willesden Junction, Early Morning” (1962) by Leon Kossoff
“Painting In Six Related Rhythms” (1954) by Denis Williams
“Red Abstract No. 5” (1960) by Victor Pasmore
“Determined Progression” (1953) by Adrian Heath
“Children In A Bombed Building, Bermondsey, London” (1956) by Roger Mayne
“Untitled Collage” (1952) by Eduardo Paolozzi
“Self Portrait” (1951-2) by Eva Frankfurther

No photography allowed here, although the works by Bacon and Hockney are reproduced in many books about them.

“Morning In Mykonos” (1961-2) by William Scott
“White With Red Lines” (1962) by William Scott
“Still Life” (1957) by Anwar Jalal Shemza
“Break-off” (1961) by Gillian Ayres

This is a room with projectors on one side, screen on the other wall showing the patches of colour, and what looks like two rows of sandbags down the middle.

After this, the separate multi-media event of Our Time On Earth.

The main section is a corridor full of video installations, models, and placards with messages about how corporations aren’t good and indigenous cultures are suffering even though they had developed a better relationship with nature in pre-development times.

Elsewhere on the ground floor is a group of 3 virtual reality headsets for seeing 3D presentations of imaginary cities in which various climate problems have been fixed and we are growing wheat in the desert, dipping in swimming pools in the high street etc.

Finally, down in the lower levels is a display of a drowned world.

If this is a representation of a drowned, landless planet after the cataclysm, then it’s quite restful. I could settle for being a decentred, delocated global consciousness relating to itself for millions of years on a world with no higher other organisms higher than monocellular beings that unite into the cosmic mind beyond themselves.

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