Sunday, 6 March 2016

The brutalist Barbican

The Barbican is ugly.  You won't find too many who would disagree with that statement.  The buildings containing very expensive apartments are brutal, and look a lot like the much derided council estates in London. 

The apartments are the tall building in the far left

It opened in 1982, and reflects the brutalist building style of the 1970's.  There have been vague attempts to make it more attractive, but most of those changes have been removed and the buildings are mostly back to their stark selves., embracing orange, purple and concrete!

Inside the gallery space called 'Curve' there is a brilliant exhibition of miniature paintings by Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi.  The Curve, as the name implies, is an exhibition space which is effectively a curved corridor and you can't see the end of it when you enter the gallery.  

Filigree, gilt, trees.  The paintings are like jewels in the darkened gallery.  Qureshi isn't constrained by the boundaries of his canvases.  On the paintings themselves, the work expands to fill the frame with delicate droplets of paint. 

Expanding further, the walls and floor have drips of deep red pain, over which he has pained flowers and leaves.  The works are darker, more thoughtful as you go further around the bend. 

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