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Modernism, Futurism, and Nostalgia - The Titfield Thunderbolt
Heisenberg might have stayed here
qatsi
qatsi
Modernism, Futurism, and Nostalgia
Earlier today kharin and I ventured to the Hayward Gallery to see the Aleksandr Rodchenko exhibition. I found the industrial photographs most effective: although they're obviously from the 1920s and 1930s, they nevertheless convey a sense of progress that seems to be missing from our contemporary lives. Some of the more domestic photographs, too, were effective; but some of the military ones, and particularly those of the Pioneers (=Scouts) were more ambivalent, and I wouldn't have been any the wiser had they been titled "Hitler Youth".

I went on to visit the Tate's Modern Painters: The Camden Town Group exhibition. By it's title, I wouldn't have bothered; but kharin went a few weeks ago and showed me the catalogue. Sickert was the only name I'd heard of; but I certainly found Charles Ginner, Spencer Gore and Robert Bevan providing what Humphrey Lyttelton calls "balm for the soul". Mostly dating from the turn of the 20th century to the First World War, these works had a feel that was variously industrial, realist and sometimes more stylistic. For me, the impersonal subjects worked better: depictions of London landmarks and scenes, and also provincial subjects, such as Letchworth, Devon and Leeds, worked better than the more social portraits of supposedly working-class stereotypes and the once scandalous nudes.

The British Orientalist Painting exhibition looks like it will be worth a trip sometime over the summer.

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