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Pierre Bonnard – The Colour of Memory TATE Modern

11 April 2019

So, once again, the Art Scholars’ boarded a coach for an art trip to London to see an exhibition. This time it was the Pierre Bonnard Exhibition at Tate Modern. We had already devoted some of our Art Scholars’ workshop time to focusing on simple forms, which can be elevated and reimagined by the artist. We looked at ‘Lemons and Spoons’ and I’m happy to say that there were lemons and spoons in evidence throughout the exhibition.

Pierre Bonnard was a fascinating artist, as he looked at the world in an almost Proustian way; he explored the gentle simplicity of life, usually bathed in the warmth of a Southern France/Mediterranean light, which glowed. Bonnard retreated from Paris with his partner, Marthe, into the French countryside and painted and explored that life, the life which surrounded him. It was a real treat to be able to experience so many of Bonnard’s paintings and some of his drawings through thirteen rooms, the last three being bathed in Naples Yellow, which perfectly supported Bonnard’s later works – He actually painted the interior of his own home Naples Yellow, so we really did get close to the spirit of Pierre Bonnard.

The Scholars’ worked very well throughout the galleries, some armed with coloured pencils in order to capture the rich palette of Bonnard. The joy for us in the Art School is being able to run these trips for our young creative minds, where our Scholars’ across the year groups can work together.

When the world is moving ever faster and images speed around the globe at the press of a keypad, we do have the opportunity to sit a stare and record through drawing. This we did at TATE Modern. We only really truly see when we record from life through drawing. Young people have so many pressures to deal with ‘day to day’, not just through their academic working week but, also through the pressures of ‘likes’ and perhaps being ‘unfollowed’ through social media. Bonnard didn’t have any of these distractions in his lifetime and he could completely immerse himself in his creativity. On Wednesday 27th March 2019 we did just that, where we could engage for several hours, just looking, recording and enjoying the many works on display.

The exhibition runs until 6th May 2019 and I thoroughly recommend it – I’m already booked to return over Easter!

We look forward to more visits through 2019/20 and also welcoming our new Art Scholars’ in September.

Mr Preedy

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