This is American artist, Lynda Benglis, 70, who after nearly five decades in the art world has her first solo exhibition in the UK. There are some major shows on in London at the moment, what with it being Olympic year and all, the city has bought into the blockbuster event, big time. But when I view art, I want the gallery to look like this:
|One of Benglis' fallen paintings.|
I go swimming when the pool's empty, prefer a quiet to a congested bar and I don't want to be behind the hordes at the museum. So, the Hockney, Freud and Kusama exhibitions are going to have to wait. For a mid-life, gallery-goer the timing has to be just right. Or a blockbuster turns into a blood-vessel-buster. Art Rage is not a pretty thing. But in the meantime, there are plenty of smaller shows to see. Which is where Lynda Benglis comes in. On Saturday, I went along with the Blog Widower to see her work at the Thomas Dane Gallery.
And then onto Sarah Lucas, 49, at Situation (a pop-up venue arranged by gallerist Sadie Coles). Sarah Lucas was in the house, with a couple of friends, a greyhound and a glass of champagne. I was struck by the similarities between the two women. Both sculptors, both feminists, both fearless. Neither afraid to do their own thing. Benglis famously stripping naked and posing with a dildo, in 1974, for an ad in Artforum. Sarah Lucas taking a more humorous, British seaside postcard approach to art.
|Sarah Lucas. Photo: Coline Millard.|
So, if you're looking for something to do between now and the opening of Picasso/Turner/ London 2012, avoid the art crowds and check out some of the smaller shows.
Lynda Benglis, Thomas Dane Gallery, 11 Duke Street, St. James's, London SW1.
Sarah Lucas at Situation, 4 New Burlington Street (first floor, next door to Sadie Coles), London W1.
Lynda Benglis photo: Bryan Derballa.