Alexander Walker’s bequest to the British Museum

The late film critic left a stack of works, the majority prints, to the British Museum, and they are currently displaying a lot of them in the print room (4th floor at the back) until January 2005. It’s a really exciting show, I think, full of many of the greats of modernism and lots of top British artists. It has the best Victor Pasmore works I’ve seen, some great Josef Albers and Bridget Riley and Joan Miro, plus wonderful works by Picasso, Matisse, Kandinsky, Caro, Gabo, Agnes Martin, Anish Kapoor, Arp, Jasper Johns, Gormley and Sonia Delaunay. I hadn’t known it was on, and was absolutely delighted by this, and will go back to it – it’s a free show.

In addition, the Japanese gallery above the print room is open again. They’ve not put much thought into what to show (they only have space for a fraction of their collection) in that it’s very like the last show before its closure, but less strong. I’m delighted to have some inro (not the same ones displayed before)(inro are small beautifully decorated medicine boxes) and inlaid sword parts to look at again, and even more of the 200 year old articulated iron animals and insects – there’s a terrific mantis. Some good armour too, but the painting and sculture on show is not great. There seems to be some more interesting painting in the rear print room below, but that was closed on Friday, and I’m told it will be closed for a couple of weeks.