Viz City Goes to London: Cezanne Wows at the Tate Modern
Reporting live from London, this is Sandy Brown Jensen for Viz City, KLCC’s arts review program. I’m here in London because I had work accepted to show at the London Contemporary Arts Fair.
My opening was like something out of a 1980s British movie. It had just stopped raining, so the bright lights of the city were reflected off the street. People poured into the large, well lit gallery full of colorful contemporary art to mingle with artists from all over the world.
The next day I started my art exploration on a crisp autumn day with the series of galleries that line Regents Street in Mayfair beginning with a show called “Sensitive Content.” It is a group show by artists who are challenging social media’s sensitivity filters. They feel there are forces that are encouraging our society to regress to a sanitized art culture, and it is their job to protest with images they hope will shock the viewer with their transgressive content. I admit I was more amused than shocked. I prefer to be shocked by beauty or stunned by imagination.
Yesterday, I visited the big Cezanne exhibition at the Tate Modern. In 2018, I visited Cezanne’s last studio in the south of France, and I was able to see for myself the famous Mount St. Victoire that so obsessed him. I hadn’t realized that the mountain appeared more than 80 times in his paintings and watercolors.
Cezanne learned about the geography and geology of the mountain because he was striving to convey a geological embodiment of timelessness. Monet did a similar project with his thirty iconic haystacks.
Cezanne’s famous still life’s were there. Still lifes were considered a lower life form back in his day, so he pushed back by making a special point of painting ordinary household beauty like apples and peaches, a dish towel or a sugar bowl. He single-handedly lifted the still life up into the highly regarded art form it is seen as today. I feel privileged to have seen this show.
From London, I’m Sandy Brown Jensen for KLCC.