MIlton Keynes is a funny place – a small American style city plonked down in the middle of rural north Buckinghamshire. I always find that as this was a city designed with the car in mind it is always very confusing to drive around and have got lost there far more than anywhere else I can think of whilst driving. I think it is the uniformity: Every junction looks just like the last and the signposts are non too clear.
Just to add to the confusion yesterday there was grey mist hanging around the place that made it look that the world ended at Marlborough Street – most off putting. However, whilst it was grey outside the reason for the visit add a great deal of colour to the whole proceedings – George Stubbs exhibition at the MK Gallery. I came away with three overriding feelings: First, it was well worth the entrance fee as it really did have all the hits, including Whistlejacket one of the prizes of the National Gallery collection. One of the joys of encountering such a masterpiece of the genre in a smaller gallery is that you do get the chance to examine the work in detail without hordes of people jostling you;
Beyond horses and anatomical studies Stubbs was not really in the premier league of late 18th century British painters. There were several portraits in the exhibition that had some strange artifacts that at times made them very unsatisfactory – especially when compared to the competition. The final thing was that if the MK Gallery maintains this level of excellence with their future exhibitions then they will become a leading provincial art gallery. Not a bad way to brighten a dull, grey and damp day in north Buckinghamshire.