I’ve gone and booked myself a weekend in Oxford on the strength of this exhibition of America’s Cool Modernism at the Ashmolean. I’ve beed a fan of Edward Hopper since I attempted a reproduction of House by the Railroad for a school project when I was 14. That was my first experience of oil paints, which I loved. Unfortunately I haven’t had much chance to use them since – living in a studio flat is very different from having a studio. I aspire to having the space and time to get back into oils one day.
My grasp of art history is pretty much non-existent, but exhibitions such as this are a good way to learn about the context of paintings I may have come across previously, and give them a new dimension. Although as a rule I like artwork to be able to stand alone and be appreciated in itself, art becomes even more fascinating when you know the motivations and influences behind it. I had hoped to go to the talk on Hopper that coincides with the exhibition, but it was full (there were still places on the O’Keefe talk last time I checked). Nevertheless, I hope to learn a lot, discover some new artists to appreciate, and as ever find inspiration for my own work.
The exhibition runs from 23 March to 22 July. Full-price tickets are £12.25, or £13.50 with gift aid. Concessions available. Tickets available here.