Water views and cat pictures
29 October – 23 November 2022
In the eighteenth century philosophers and writers divided aesthetic experiences between ideas of the Sublime, the Picturesque and the Beautiful.
Water in the form of storms, floods and heaving oceans was a favourite subject of painters of the Sublime. Having recently, like many, had a little too much personal experience of those manifestations of water, I’ve chosen to celebrate in this show its more serene and necessary aspects.
In his 1768 Essay on Prints, William Gilpin defined the Picturesque as “that kind of beauty which is agreeable in a picture” If my Instagram feed is anything to go by not many subjects are more agreeable in a picture than cats, while also possessing the Picturesque qualities of “smoothness” and “gentleness” combined with “roughness” and “unpredictability”.
And what about the third member of the aesthetic trinity? As always, it’s in the eye of the beholder.