This week, I saw three exhibitions:
- Marco Bohr's photographs of Tokyo riverside musicians at Mummery & Schnell
- Sigrid Holmwood's paintings of Swedish peasant life at Annely Juda
- Serban Savu's paintings of contemporary Romanian life at FA Projects
Marco Bohr's photographs of Tokyo show musicians on the banks of the Tamagawa river. The open spaces are the opposite of the modern, neon image of Tokyo. With usual Japanese respect, the musicians practise their music on the river banks, rather than disturb their neighbours who are so close due to Tokyo's density.
Sigrid Holwood's paintings shine with colour: neon yellows, fluorescent oranges and greens. The colour seems at odds with the subject: Swedish rural landscapes and scenes of peasant life. The paintings are alluring - my favourites were the landscapes. I saw them glowing with atmosphere. The colours express the joys of being in the landscape.
The paintings of humans, however, play with reality - many of them were painted in folk museums, so their inauthentic colours match the inauthentic nature of the scenes.
Most of Serban Savu's work saddened me: painted from a distance, and with dull, oppressive colours. They show people on the banks of a river in Romania. The painting above seems to sum this up: the scene looks very jolly, a family or group enjoying a day by the river, a holiday. But the colours have no fun. Perhaps this is to suggest that social life in Romania oppresse, but I found this to be sombre, sad, depressing.