On the 7th December the AS and GCSE students went on an art trip into London to view several exhibitions. First we went to the Royal Academy to see the Abstract Expressionism exhibition. Abstract Expressionism was born from the collective experience of artists living in 1940s New York. The RA exhibition demonstrated a diverse selection of artists, mainly New York artists (Pollock and Rothko, de Kooning, Kline, and Robert Motherwell, among others). Contrasting with Cubism and Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism did not follow a set formula. An example of this is Pollock’s unique drip technique, creating intricate masterpieces, which left us all stunned. Through this working method he removed the idea that a painting should have a central focal point, instead embracing the “all-over composition”. The same was true of the colour field paintings of artists such as Mark Rothko and Ad Reinhardt.
We stopped briefly at the White Cube Art Gallery to see Magnus Plessen’s many artworks. His work on “War Against War” really stood out for me, these configurations were inspired by the distressing impacts soldiers faced from automatic weapons during the World War I, often leaving them disfigured. In Plessen’s works, limbs, heads and objects appear drastically disjointed trying to represent the discomfort they experienced.
Lastly we went to Tate Modern in Bankside to view the Robert Rauschenberg Exhibition. This exhibition was organised in collaboration with The Museum of Modern Art, New York honouring his death in 2008. As we journeyed through each room we followed his six decade career and were mesmerised by Rauschenberg’s remarkable modern artwork. This included a great deal of distinctive artwork from a stuffed angora goat to a bubbling bentonite mud bath!
Amanda Akwiwu, Art student