A certain British art institution opens its doors across the pond today and all eyes are on a little island in New York. London has been having a great run of form in terms of high profile art events in recent months (with many more to come over Summer), it just seems that today, especially with the sale of The Scream in the Big Apple earlier this week, we can allow the shift States-ward for the day. That does not by any means indicate that your dear Culture section has nothing of great stature to say.
Indeed, today we look to the past and to arguably one of the greatest minds who ever lived: Leonardo Da Vinci. Coming on the heels of the blockbuster exhibition at the National Gallery, the Royal Collection presents Anatomist, an exhibition of works comprising drawings, sketches, notes and diaries. All personal artefacts of the man, this is one of the great treasures of British art collection.
Robert Longo, that great Postmodernist, who credits his move to New York as the start of his true creative period and which is a world away from Da Vinci's Florentine courts, speaks of Formalism, Romanticism and Mannerism as points on a clock. An artist must tick-tock his or her way through these points in order to remain current, he argues. In this exhibition of work Da Vinci demonstrates his fascination with the human body in all its intricacies. Depth, shadow and light illuminating the million microcosms of every single inch, inner and outer. What we see here is an artist working at the three points simultaneously. Da Vinci as artist and scientist, as Romanticist and realist. Sure, its an exhibition that could have come at any point in time and that would have been celebrated justly, but with further blockbusters to come (including Bauhaus at Barbican, which opened yesterday and will be profiled here next week, and Yoko Ono at Serpentine Gallery) now seems like an accurate time to reflect on what's great about art. There are moments here that are simply perfection, and until we get the Frieze hangover returning in their droves and with their noise next week this is that moment of the you in art.
Leonardo Da Vinci: Anatomist is at The Queen's Gallery, The Royal Collection until 07 October.