January is a really awful month, that is if you live in the northern hemisphere. After all the festivities of Christmas and new year you are left with a flat and grey expanse. In the past we also had snow but now, probably thanks to global warming, we don’t even have that but just a sense of having to endure. However, as I write this the sun has just come out replacing the rain and it looks really quite nice out which destroys much of what I am saying. Well actually it doesn’t. January is like that, it gives you hope and then cruelly dashes such hope – storms are predicted over the next few days.
I was reminded about this dark angst I feel for January as I walked around an exhibition of Georg Baselitz paintings and prints. They really are dark and gloomy (if you want a much more considered view my friend David Manley will be the place to go). For me they all seemed to be too bleak, much the same as Anselm Kiefer’s recent exhibition at RA. I can’t say either artist’s worked filled me with great interest, however it is important to view works which don’t conform to your own tastes in art as you may well be surprised. Also it means that you continually challenge what is and what is not ‘good’ art (A ridiculous concept I know but we all do it).
All this sombre Germanic reflections brought my mind around to the political leader of the early part of the 21st century Angela Merkel who just happened to be in London yesterday. When I was in Germany recently I mentioned to our two German friends how much Frau Merkel is admired in Britain and they admitted it was much the same across the political spectrum in Germany. There are questions over whether she stands again in 2017 and if she doesn’t I wish her well but the world will be a much emptier place without her steady head at a time when all around her male leaders OD on testosterone.