Yesterday I visited the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art in Islington, North London. A new friend from my very active London Art Museum Creatives meetup group suggested it to me and I've been eager to see what it's all about.
Being a Contemporary British Sculptor myself, I'm intrigued by other artists work especially artwork well known in other countries. I find it's really nice to have a different perspective and as I really love most things Italian, it was a fun visit.
Firstly, it's a very short walk from Highbury & Islington train station with the walk meandering through the nice residential neighbourhood of Canonbury. The building that the gallery is in is very nice and recently had some renovations. It's quite nice inside and has the temporary exhibition on the ground floor and the more permanent collection on the floors above. There's also a nice little shop and cafe and garden too as well as a library. I went on a very rainy cold day so I'm sure it's much nicer outside in their garden on sunny warm days!
The history of the building was very interesting too. Apparently the gallery takes its name from that of Eric Estorick who was an American writer and sociologist who was gathering an art collection after the Second World War while living here in England. Turns out he and his wife were regular visitors to Italy and were very lucky to meet and befriend many popular artists during this time. You can see by his collection that he was very inspired by Futurist paintings coming out of modern Italian art just after the war as he has many great masterpieces from artists of that time period.
The gallery has other works too that are unrelated to Futurism and they're just as fascinating and quite a lovely hidden gem in this very crowded city! I can't tell you how glorious it was to be alone in these galleries and to have the artwork all to myself without millions of tourists all around like in the major art museums not too far away.
Cost to get in is minimal which is great. I paid just £7.50 to get into both the permanent collection as well as the temporary exhibit so that was a bonus!
So the Fausto Melotti Counterpoint exhibition has only recently begun on the 16th of January and will run until the 7th of April 2019 so do try to see it if you can. Apparently according to what I read in the gallery, this artist is very well known in Italy but hardly noted here in the U.K. which is a shame as his work is rather interesting. The first moment I entered the room, I was intrigued by his interests in the languages of music and mathematics and his visual interpretation of these combinations. Of course, art and science fascinates me so to see how another artist weaves their own visual perspective using their own explorations in the sciences is very interesting indeed. There were a few works that I didn't completely understand and it would have been great to have an explanation nearby. There were a few other pieces that I did wonder about mostly because they peaked my imagination in either the title or the material used. Please refer to the images above to make your own speculations of his work.
An interesting exhibition but lacking in explanations to those of us who don't know the artist very well and his visual interpretations. Though if I want to learn more, all I have to do is google this artist but not many people will research further so I'd say it's a pity the gallery didn't offer a little bit more for those of us unfamiliar with each piece and what it means or represents. I'd love to have had more details in the labels so I could have understood more. Interesting exhibition otherwise.
Some examples of this at the top of the page:
top two images are by Fausto Melotti,
bottom two images are by Gino Severini (Quaker Oats - Cubist Still Life)
and Giuditta Scalini (Acrobats).
If you'd like to visit the gallery for yourself please follow the links below:
*If you enjoy reading about different exhibitions I've been to and would like to see more like this then please stay tuned every Thursday at 9am UK time.
My name is Franceska McCullough and I'm the owner and artist of Toothpickmoon. I'm interested in blogging about art materials, art events and conducting artist interviews.
*Disclosure: The links I'm using on this blog will only ever relate to the products I myself use in my own practice.