It's all going modern at the National Gallery

October 17 2012

Image of It's all going modern at the National Gallery

Picture: National Gallery/Estate of Richard Hamilton

I had a quick look at the new Richard Hamilton exhibition at the National Gallery yesterday. Boy, could he not paint. 

Regular readers, who know what a reactionary stick-in-the-mud I am, won't be surprised to hear that I'm a little puzzled by the National's direction of travel at the moment. They seem to be on a quest to contemporise everything. We recently had the Titian Metamorphosis show, in which Titian's Diana masterpieces were shown next to robotic antlers, naked bathers, and stage designs. Now we have Richard Hamilton's park-railing pastiches of Poussin and Titian. And later this month we'll have Seduced by Art, in which we can "View Old Master painting through a new lens with the National Gallery's first major exhibition of photography", where contemporary photographs will be hung alongside "historical painting".

It's all most curious.

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