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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: April 7, 2011 @ 3:15 pm

    If you only do one thing this weekend: pull a late one

    Laurence Mackin

    See: A while back, I had a post up about galleries and their often unfriendly visiting hours. The Temple Bar Cultural Trust has decided to take a leaf out of Culture Night’s book, and for the first Thursday of each month it has arranged for galleries in the area to stay open late, so patrons can take advantage of those long evenings to get their arty fix. Among those keeping their doors open until 8pm tonight are Clyne Gallery, Fishbowl Gallery/Exchange, Gallery of Photography, Graphic Studio Gallery, Monster Truck Gallery & Studios, NGG/No Grants Gallery, Project Arts Centre, Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, Block T, The Joinery and the Mad Art Gallery & Studio. Here’s hoping the idea spreads further.

    The babysitter had some strange friends

    Take in: As far as major shows go, there really is only one gig in town this weekend, and it’s an all-Mexican extravaganza. Listed and tipped just about everywhere, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera at Imma is doing its level best to justify the hype. The show is small, and very efficiently curated. There are works from Rivera, including his key Landscape with Cactus and Calla Lily Vendors, but there is no doubt that it is Kahlo who is the star of the show, from her self-portraits that almost seem to hum on the page with the vibrancy in her indifferent stare, to the breathtaking The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth (Mexico), Diego, Myself and Señor Xólotl (above). This is a deeply accessible show – the notes are strong, there is not enough to overwhelm even a casual gallery-goer, but there is enough variety to keep people skipping from room to room – the photographs of Kahlo in particular are a brilliant surprise in the basement room.

    Listen: On Sunday night, I’ll be performing a live soundtrack with 3epkano to the GW Pabst film Diary of a Lost Girl in Dublin’s Button Factory – which is a bit irritating because it means I will miss what promises to be a cracking jazz gig over in JJ Smyth’s on Aungier Street. The Improvised Music Company has been bringing some astonishingly talented players from the US over to show JJ’s who’s boss. Sunday sees Mark Helias let his Open Loose trio run riot, with Helias on bass, Tony Malay on tenor saxophone and Tom Rainey on drums. Helias is a key figure on the US scene, and this trio is promising an “evening of deep, unshackled groove”. Here’s a little taster of the trio in action with Eric T Johnson to get you warmed up.
    YouTube Preview Image

    Usually, I end this post with a video, but this week we’ll make it a story, culled from The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross, an authoritative, highly readable history of music in the 20th century.

    Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the death of Igor Stravinsky, which made this particular story pop into my head. Apparently Charlie Parker went to Paris in 1949 on tour, and one of the songs he referenced in his solo were the first few notes from the Rite of Spring, Stravinsky’s most famous, innovative piece of music. Several years later, Parker was playing Birdland in New York, and spotted the great composer in the crowd. He immediately worked a motif from Stravinksy’s Firebird into a solo on Koko, “causing the composer to spill his scotch in ecstasy”, as Ross writes. How’s that for a classy compliment?

    • I love Freida Kahlo’s work, you can really see the obsession, the passion, the jealousy, loss, anquish, and love in it. Especially when it comes to the pictures she painted after the loss of her pregnancies and the painting of Deigo’s mistress, she makes her look like a monster. He paints her like a movie star, Frieda paints the mistress as cruel. I think the best work of Frieda’a is her protrait with the monkeys because in her eyes you can see the her life of loss (her crushed pelvis, inability to have children, and later her leg) and also her spirituality. Laurence, have you seen this exhibit? How long is it running for?

    • Readers of your blog maybe interested in this exhibition taking pace in The Green Gallery, St Stephens Green, Dublin 2, next week 11th – 18th April. The artist is Robert Morrow, who has been painting for over 30 years but this is the first time he has had a public exhibition. Hope people can go along and give their views!

      A selection of his unique collection of gouache and acrylic paintings, and conte crayon drawings, over a period of thirty years. These include family, war, suicide, the pleasures of Barcelona and the mystery of seemingly ordinary scenes.
      at The Green Gallery, Top Floor, St Stephen’s Green Centre, Dublin 2.

      From Monday,11th April – Monday, 18th April 2011.
      See: http://www.bobmorrowpaintings.com

    • Laurence Mackin says:

      Jennifer – Yeah, she’s quite divisive, I’ve spoken to a few people who don’t respond at all to Kahlo’s work. I think she is definitely one of those people you need to know a little of the history of (the Imma exhibit handles this nicely with good introductory notes). I have seen it, I think it is excellent and it runs until June 26th before travelling to England.

    • Thank you Laurence for the information. Yes, Frida Kahlo is divisive as an artist but I really like her work. To many she is just a woman with bushy eyebrows and wears costumes (her traditional mexican attire), but she is one of the few artists to convey her inner world onto the canvas. Her work often conveys a dream like quality. I am also a fan Paul Gaughan and his tahitian paintings, so I guess this kind of explains my artistic tastes.

    • a.commenter says:

      Are you going to tell her…?

    • @5 Tell her what? That I have questionable taste in Art or Frida Kahlo she needs to get her eyebrows down and dresses like the singer from a marachi band? I still like the surreal quality of her art. Sometimes here in the States we have exhibitions of her work, but not very often of her husband Diego Rivera. There was interest in her several years ago when Madonna bought up some of her paintings. In fact I think she owns the painting Frida did of herself and the monkeys.

    • a.commenter says:

      Nothing to do with your taste in Art jen…in fact I’m impressed by your knowledge of this painter about whom I know absolutely nuttin’…painting is not my forte….so thanks for that…
      I always enjoy your contributions …particularly your very descriptive similes (?)…spelling mistakes an’ all (hint hint) there was one about someone having ‘all the emotion of traffic lights’ recently and another I can’t quite recall…I’m barely awake… no matter I expect I’ll find it again but the very best was the one about old rockers with’ tongues longer than some farm animals’…otherwise I’m going to let you work ‘it’ out for youself…

    • @7 Yes, I know I do have a real tendency to “fat finger” the keyboard. I am convinced you all think I do not own a dictionary with all my crimes against spelling and am more than a little embarrassed by it. I do type in a hurry. However, the worst speller by far is a friend of mine who lives in Dublin, his spelling is so bad that even I say what the hell. I think it comes from all the texting he does. As far as the topic at hand goes, I was forced in College (my background is in Criminology) to take an Art history class. In the States, universities do that because they claim it makes students more well rounded, but it is really to get more money out of you. I did discover I like learning the meaning behind some works of art, sometimes the intention of the artist is more interesting than the work itself.
      As for my colorful discriptive similies, maybe I was a writer in a previous life. I would say maybe e.e. cummings because to him punctuation, grammer, and spelling were meaningless . You think I am bad check out his work sometime, jaysus. My favorite of his poems if you like colorful similies is “She being brand new”. The old rocker in question was Gene Simmons from Kiss, always sticking his tongue out while wearing leather pants. I was shocked at how much that comment amused people.

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