I took it to the Royal Academy last month, but they didn't want it. So I went to collect it yesterday, and I took it to what appeared to be the most prestigious (and the most convenient to get to) of the Salons des Refusés...
The term Salon des Refusés is a direct reference to the French Impressionists and an exhibition of work (which included some early Impressionist paintings) rejected by the Paris Salon (the offcial exhibition orgnised by the Académie des Beaux-Arts) in 1873. Salons des Refusés - exhibitions of work rejected from the official exhibition - were not new. What was different was the large number of rejects in that year and the fact that the French government sponsored this particular Salon des Refusés. And, of course, the fact that the exposure helped to 'legitimise' the new, modern, 'Impressionist' style, which was the subject of much critical derision at the time (even the term 'Impressionist' was intended to be derogatory, as originally applied).
Now, of course, the Impressionists are widely admired, by art historians and the general populace alike (even people who claim to dislike Modern Art seem to find Impressionism appealing, presumably oblivious to the fact that Impressionism is a key movement in Modernism). Artists quite like comparisons with the movement; even if there is no stylistic similarity, there is the implication of undiscovered genius.
So it's quite a flattering name, Salon des Refusés.... and the lady from Llewellyn Alexander, she say yes!
Llewellyn Alexander is the name of the gallery that hosts Not The Royal Academy. They've been doing this for 23 years (which is quite a long time). They are close to Waterloo railway station, a few stops down the Bakerloo line from Picadilly Circus (the closest tube station to the Royal Academy).
Yesterday, however, a power cut had forced London Undergound to close Waterloo tube station, so I walked there from Embankment.
The funny thing is, I have never seen anyone else lugging a large, painting-shaped item around London, neither on foot nor on the Underground. Do they embrace the congestion charge and drive? Do they get a taxi cab? Or do most of them just paint smaller pictures that will slip into a regular carrier bag?