definitely worth popping down early for
It's quite a rare and happy-making exceptional occurrence to remain entirely unannoyed by any of the works in an exhibition. One of the bits of blurb in the accompanying catalogue (glued as usual to a bit of wood to prevent all but the most determined of thieves) declares that Richter "never foisted any of his private issues on the public" and there was indeed a lack of the usual laundry embroidering (or, to be charitable, contextualising) various works according to the artist's personal circumstances at the time of creation. As usual the only irritating things (in a rare but extremely welcome complete absence of really annoying loudly-waffling people) were instances of pretentious bobbins spouted exuberantly and aggressively on the picture-information cards on the walls. In a travelling exhibition (Baden-Baden, Beijing, Edinburgh, Vienna then Duisburg) you might be forgiven for thinking that the blurb would all be organised beforehand and would travel with the exhibition but the captioning in the National Gallery bore the characteristic over-enunciated declamatory and seeming lack of self-awarenes of their own poncing unnecessariness common to all the exhibitions I've seen around here in recent years. I feel the time has come to finally get round to addressing the galleries about this subject, if only because it's still quiet enough in here at present (11:05) to be able to wander around with notebook out to get some actual examples to quote.
Having done that a lot of them weren't that bad and I had to go round almost all of them to find the few which had irritated and stuck. Luckily all examples quite clearly contain supposition; I tend not to read entire catalogues from cover to cover when visiting these things so would not know if the blurb-poncery is straight from the artists' mouths but in this case the "may have" and "it is as if" indicates that the blame lies with an intermediary. Even the works of the greatest potential to annoy weren't annoying - there are three canvasses covered in the same shade of dark grey but the markedly different textures of each excuse them.
I shall discuss with myself whether or not to add anything about the people we popped out to meet this evening. It was a slightly difficult event, not helped by being held outside a pub so that the met-people could chain-smoke (a jumper had to go straight into the wash upon returning home) in rather cold weather (in anticipation of staying outside for a long time without moving - I do like being outside in the cold but do like to keep walking if it's very cold - I had put on some slightly longer shorts) and because the conversation rather tended to keep returning abruptly to the difficult subject underpinning the current circumstances of those we met. Hmmm.