One a typically dull and breezy wet afternoon in Newcastle last week, I took the opportunity to visit the Laing Art Gallery. It was a thoroughly soothing and pleasant hour of time spent well, and I enjoyed, in particular, the portrait of a young Rod Stewart with the most ridiculous and effeminate bouffant – though, it has to be said, he was immaculately dressed. That picture was part of a cool collection of photographs entitled Beatles to Bowie: the 60s exposed, a retrospective look at some of the pop stars who came to define the era not just musically, but sartorially too. Beyond that, I was, as ever, captivated by John Martin’s two tremendous and expansive paintings: The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and The Bard.
With art on my mind, here are two new exhibitions to see come rain or shine. Whether it is to simply pass away an idle moment or a much needed distraction against the woes of life, these shows will provide ample relief in every way possible. No need for words today, the images have court:
Jenny Holzer | Baltic | 5 March – 16 May 2010
Tim Hetherington | Long Story Told Bit By Bit: Liberia Retold | Side Gallery | 20 March – 15 May 2010