Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

The Walker Art Gallery is fantastic. Go there.

I love it so much, I can pick fights with it.

First because the place shuts at 5pm. How can you shut an art gallery like this at 5pm? Isn't that RIDICULOUS. And it's no good telling me the office workers should visit at weekends. NO. People should be in and out of this place every evening to restore some sanity and balance in their urban lives.

Look, when I am in charge of everything, this is one of the first things I am going to change. Compulsory visits to your most excellent art galleries.

By the way, when that commandment comes in, you can give the Tate a miss. They have the usual boring one-dimensional way of seeing the world. It's all brains-hit-by-hammers stuff there. Yawn yawn yawn. Come to the Walker art gallery instead. They have everything.

Yes, it is exactly that sort of quirky, reverent and irreverent mix that most appeals to art critic Grit. The Walker collection hits this line brilliantly; it finds those works that engage with historical traditions of art and simultaneously plays with the cultural norms, assumptions and expectations these works offer to surprise and subvert. Perfect.

Kids move between a superb collection of the Pre-Raphaelite Bros to bandaged sacks of plastic rubbish.

Personally, I am not a big fan of the plastic rubbish brigade, although I like to see various approaches to art brought together so they can knock against each other. On that score, Bill Viola's Observance is beautifully placed.

Look, here's my final point about the lovely wit and style evident in the Walker collection. They even have the one with the teenage Jesus, all sulky and difficult while he's being told off.

So the commandment from Grit is that you must visit the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. By Order.

And take the kids. It is not an intimidating place and no-one hated me. In fact all the staff ignored us, while we carried on pointing, photographing, arguing over the ipad, reading aloud, talking about the art, laughing, thinking, and thoroughly enjoying the visit.

Thank you, Walker. Now open your doors for late evening viewing and I'll be your slave forever.


Irene said...

But isn't it true, that you must have seen the Tate to truly appreciate this?

Grit said...

yes, irene, at first with great determination to find new waves of plastic-bag-art amazingly inspiring and creative. but over the years and despite my best efforts, i'm now finding myself worn down with the repetition of it. i mean, there are only so many ways you can tie up a plastic bag and hit it with hammers in the name of art, surely?