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This report is taken from PN Review 175, Volume 33 Number 5, May - June 2007.

From a Journal R.F. Langley

10 August 2006
So we drove to Norwich, the Sainsbury Collection, with Kris, yesterday, and I walked the rounds of the permanent display quite slowly, but without long pauses, taking it in as more of a scatter than a containment. There were tables to sit at, with small items in cases on them. The carpet was comforting. I was in search of some engrossing thing, aware that it might be large or small. There could easily be several which I had not noticed before in such a spread. The building is a hangar, huge volumes of still air for your thoughts to hover in. Metal girding, hundreds of lights, air-vents. Shining rails to the spiral staircases. Your hands slide along cold silver curved reflections. One is assured that so much space is on purpose and well resourced. The objects are set against their slanted screens, in little encampments and short processions, which move towards minglings, Egyptian with Indian, Inca into Cycladic, neat contrasts with selected moderns. Picasso's Negro Period is a gift, Rouault is useful, Giacometti makes idols. Moore. Bacon. Finding again the portrait of the youth from Fayum is meeting a human being, twitching his mouth in AD 100. And now, among so many distortions of the human head he offers to share your worries. But I have talked to him often before, so I look further, for some spirit of the day, more nimble, arrogant, certain enough of himself to face metamorphosis. Capable of making the ...


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