First up was The Photographers Gallery and an exhibition of Feminist Avant-Garde photography. I liked the ideas and much of the politics behind this work (challenging notions that define women and images of women, etc.) but as usual the photos themselves were a pretty mixed bag when it came to levels of appeal and engagement.
A short bus ride from Regent Street to The Strand led to the next exhibition at Somerset House: Malick Sidibe - The Eye Of Modern Mali. This was a small (free) retrospective of the photographers work from the 1960's showing the lives and activities of the people of the newly independent Mali. I really enjoyed this exhibition as accompanying the lovely images was (unusually for a gallery) a soundtrack of suitable music which nicely enhanced the feeling of that particular time and place.
From the opposite side of Aldwych I then took another bus (this time on an original routemaster working the tourist route. This was an unexpected treat and a reminder that London has lost a little something with the phasing out of these transport relics) for another short ride up Fleet Street towards St. Paul's and the wobbly bridge across the river to Tate Modern.
I finished with two exhibitions here - Wilfredo Lam and The Radical Eye. Lam was another artist new to me, a Cuban artist (I learned) very much in touch with the modernist movements in 20th Century America and Europe with very much his own style despite obvious influences of Cubism, Surrealism and more. (I like it when I discover a 'new' artist and really like them!). The 'Radical Eye' exhibition looked at modernism in photography and was curated entirely from works in the personal collection of Elton John. I have to say that I found his name attached to the project more of a deterrent than an attraction but there was very little emphasis placed on the celebrity aspect and the exhibition (a fraction of his total collection, I'm sure) was both impressive and engaging.
I managed to get all of this done in a single afternoon and am now feeling all 'cultured up' for a couple of weeks at least. I'm glad I made the effort to catch these before they closed.