Abstract Expressionism – a few thoughts


Following a panic in mid December when I realised that ‘Abstract Expressionism’ at the Royal Academy in London was finishing on 2 January 2017 I managed to find a day to visit it over Christmas. It was a great show with some fantastic work in it. I learnt lots more about Jackson Pollock and discovered a new level of respect for and interest in his work and got introduced to some new artists. The David Smith sculptures in each room worked well in complementing the other work on the walls. So overall it was a good experience except for the introductory texts for each room. I found them…err…abstract, at best. For example; “…an openness evoking rarefied, empyrean voids”. In contrast the guide for young visitors was great  – clear, to the point and not patronising. I found a lot of the introductory texts too dense in terms of language and concepts. I think accessibility is so important and I was concerned that the language not only seemed at times so complex as to appear to seek to exclude but could act as a barrier to enjoyment and free engagement with the art. I am really pleased I went but I hope there is less of this curatorial style in 2017!




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