Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

Self: Turner Contemporary

I wish they'd had the courage of their convictions and called it Selfie.

The nub of the exhibition is the Van Dyck self portrait that was purchased for the nation last year and is currently on a lap of honour round the regions. Margate has had the bright idea of surrounding it with other self portraits- old and new- and it would have been a jolly good idea if funds had stretched to hiring better art. As it is most of the older pictures are dull and most of the newer ones gimmicky. I recognise exceptions. Romney- a painter I've never much liked- is a lively presence, Sarah Lucas confronts us with a skull betwen her legs and fried eggs on her chest and Richard Parkes Bonnington turns his back in a little watercolour sketch which- in its wit and liveliness- looks as if it might have been done in the nineteen not the eighteen thirties.
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