It’s a complex issue about how much quantity of art to look at before it becomes overwhelming, whether it’s a better use of time to spend looking at one or 2 pieces of work in detail, or to go around one or 2 exhibitions to get an overall impression, but is guess it’s how it takes you.
I’ve just spent 2 days in London part with a group from university and part of the time on my own. Usually when I’m with others I go round exhibition more speedily. This time it was reversed. Maybe it was the character of the exhibitions we visited together influenced how the viewing was done. First starting at Tate Modern artist rooms of Bruce Newman and the monumental Joseph Beys. Then the exhibition at Tate Britain All Too Human so much Lucien Freud, then also part of the London Group of the 60s Micheal Andrews gentle painting, teaching his daughter to swim, Kossoff’s the swimming pool and the huge to my suprise Paula Rego. The luminosity of paint in Rego’s work which I had not seen before drew me in to just stand and stare, perhaps I’m answering my own question.
Then Wednesday starting the day in St. Paul’s cathedral communion, under the eye of Bill Viola’s martyrs. Looking and experiencing both physically and visually. It was apparently the feast day of St Perpetua a female martyr featured on Thought for the Day yesterday. what more could I do than look at Viola’s visceral images and participate.