A bit of culture for the holiday break.

Gerhard Richter, Tate Modern 2011

Don’t you love your relatives? You look forward for ages to them coming to stay and then as soon as they arrive you can’t wait for them to go.

If you are enduring enjoying a family Christmas this year you might still be at the ‘isn’t this fabulous!’ stage. Soon, as we all know, there will be a moment when you just can’t wait for everyone to go and for it all to be over and you can enjoy a small slice of the remaining holiday time quietly on your own.

When that happens, and you’ve iplayered Downton/ Ab Fab/ Outnumbered, can I suggest you pop along to see Panorama by Gerhard Richter at the Tate Modern, absolutely the best exhibition I’ve seen this year. He is not only a busy chap, producing a vast amount of high quality work, but he also does such varied styles, from the beautiful, blurry oil portraits of his daughter to the squeezi-mop pictures which are a wonderful madness of colour and line.You’re bound to find something to inspire you in it and there’s the Tacita Dean Unilever installation to see too.

Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter, Tate Modern 2011

If you can’t get away until after January 3rd, then combine the trip with a visit to the new White Cube space in Bermondsay and do a double German day by seeing the Anselm Kiefer Il Mistero delle Cattedrall too. Gorgeous giant canvases with ironwork hanging off them (good for rustic inspiration textiles) and some of the lead books and stacked sculptures he’s well known for. If you can’ go to this, there is a mini tour of the exhibition and interview with the man on the White Cube website here.

Anselm Kiefer


True arty-types could then add in a trip to the New Art from Germany exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in the Kings Road, which I was a bit ‘ho-hum’ about (technical term) although the Site Specific Oil Installation in the basement by Richard Wilson is simply amazing. You peer into the extrordinary lake of used sump oil and marvel at the reflective blackness, it forms a surface so confusing it almost does your head in, which brings us back to family Christmases.

Tate Modern and Saatchi Gallery are open from 27th December right through New Year

White Cube is open from 3rd January 2012.

Richard Wilson

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