What’s Been Happening – Again

Friday 2nd June 2017

By this time next week I could be over. I’ve always said that the poor would rise up and now they will. I’ve tinkered with the garden this afternoon. But there’s little point if the Bolsheviks are due in ten days time.  I wonder where Corbyn will re-house me.

So these are the last days. Robert Nevil and I took ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ with Imelda. Decor’s come on since the 50s, at least. I like this play. To me, it’s perfectly normal – or just a teeny bit exaggerated – that they carry on like that. It’s not depressing. They’re fighting against the void like the rest of us. Afterwards Robert Nevil tried on a bit of George and Martha work in the street as we were waiting for our cars. But he won’t destroy me.

I fitted in the Hockney Show at the Tate. Luckily I knew most of the work so was not detained too long. But the impact of it massed together – the central room with the large canvasses – Celia Imrie and Ossie at Home, Henry on the Sofa, His Mother and Father, the Art Collector Lady and Husband. It was like the Raphael Stanze in the Vatican or the Arena Chapel. So monumental yet so light. Years ago I wondered about the flat acrylic quality of Hockney’s work from that era but now I see it has that modernity while the modelling of the faces is exquisite and classical.

I was bidden to Highclere on account of Dainty Lady TV. Genevieve Suzy was to have accompanied me but couldn’t because, at the after-party for the confirmation of the daughter of the Deputy Editor of the Mail on Sunday, somebody stabbed her foot with a stiletto. I had private audience with the Countess in the Downton Abbey library. Highclere is a much nicer house than appears. Not heavy and Victorian but light and carved and fanciful. There’s a delightful drawing room in the Ritz rococo style and very good tooled leather covering from the 16th century in what they call the Saloon which is really the hall. Once the Countess realised she was talking to a fellow decor enthusiast (I didn’t quite manage to work in that landed affairs are a little bit my province too – or were) she showed me the bedrooms. She’s got a fantastic silvery pink from the Paint Library in one of them. We also looked at the shutters she’s had restored but she left the scuff marks on the skirting.

On the way back, Robert Nevil suggested that I look at the Stanley Spencer chapel at Burghclere. So I did. Very good but the religious aspect is troubling. Funny how Michelangelo is not damaged by being religious but in a later painter it seems eccentric and limiting. Why is this?

Then there was a Wyndham Lewis tour: we saw the railings in Soho Square where he got hung up by his trouser turn-ups. It was some row about a lady. Quite an attractive figure but a bit grim. He liked to stir up trouble. Tremendous feuds and a phase of loving Hitler, later obliterated. Fearsome writings nobody but the wildest fan can read. Don’t really know what Vorticism is, do you? Everything swirling round with its own energy. Like a lot of things, it only lasted about ten minutes and very little work was produced but people are still taking about it 100 years later. He did that great pic of T.S. Eliot and the other one of Edita Sitwelliana. But they aren’t Vorti.  We were shown his war paintings privately in the stacks at the Imperial War Museum. Odd. I noticed how many old generals are stored there, glinting out side ways from their slots. An exclusive buffet was laid out in the private corridor of the museum and we consumed in the Orpen Room amidst his war paintings which some would kill to see.

Wyndham Lewis: his Idea of 1st World War. What do you Think?

Wyndham Lewis: his Idea of 1st World War. What do you Think?

A General Stowed Away at the Imperial War Museum

A General Stowed Away at the Imperial War Museum

The Private Corridor at the Imperial War Museum

The Private Corridor at the Imperial War Museum

Stanley Spencer: Oddball

Stanley Spencer: Oddball

Highclere

Highclere: More fun that Might Appear

Highclere: the Saloon

Highclere: the Saloon: The Countess Pointed out Some Marks on the Upholstery Here Which she is Rising Above 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted Friday, June 2, 2017 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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