Home » Exhibitions » Steve McQueen at Tate Modern from 13 February to 11 May 2020

Steve McQueen at Tate Modern from 13 February to 11 May 2020

Steve McQueen, Charlotte 2004, Film still © Steve McQueen. Courtesy the artist, Thomas Dane Gallery and Marian Goodman Gallery

Tate Modern presents the first survey of Steve McQueen’s work in the UK for over 20 years, it features 14 major works spanning film, photography and sculpture, and explores McQueen’s visual art career since he received the Turner Prize in 1999.

McQueen is also a critically acclaimed filmmaker creating Hunger (2008), Shame (2010), 12 Years a Slave (2013) and Widows (2018). The exhibition reveals how McQueen’s pioneering approaches to filmmaking have influenced how other artists work with the medium.

Steve McQueen, Exodus 1992-97, Video still © Steve McQueen. Courtesy the artist, Thomas Dane Gallery and Marian Goodman Gallery

Highlights of the exhibition include one of McQueen’s earliest films shot on a Super 8 camera, Exodus 1992/97, which reflects on migration and multiculturalism in London, and 7th Nov. 2001, in which the artist’s cousin Marcus recounts the tragic day he accidentally shot and fatally injured his own brother.

Steve McQueen, Static 2009, Video still© Steve McQueen. Courtesy the artist, Thomas Dane Gallery and Marian Goodman Gallery

These intimate works are in contrast to large-scale video installations such as Western Deep 2002 and Static 2009. Western Deep presents an intense exploration of the labour conditions of gold miners in South Africa, while Static’s aerial depiction of the Statue of Liberty shows a different aspect of a familiar and heavily symbolic figure.

Steve McQueen, Caribs’ Leap 2002, Video still© Steve McQueen. Courtesy the artist, Thomas Dane Gallery and Marian Goodman Gallery

As part of the exhibition McQueen has chosen to display one of the screens of the two-channel film Caribs’ Leap 2002 on the river façade of Tate Modern. Shown on a giant 7 metre screen Caribs’ Leap traces a day on the Caribbean island of Grenada, portraying the cycle of life and death.

Steve McQueen, Ashes 2002-2015, Video still © Steve McQueen. Courtesy the artist, Thomas Dane Gallery and Marian Goodman Gallery

More recent work includes the haunting two-channel video installation Ashes 2002–15, offering a moving tribute to the memory of a young fisherman the artist met and filmed in Grenada in 2002, who was killed by drug dealers the following year.

For the first time in the UK, audiences can view End Credits 2012–ongoing, McQueen’s homage to the African-American singer, actor and civil rights activist Paul Robeson (1898–1976) who, after a successful career as a performer, was blacklisted in the 1950s and put under surveillance by the FBI. The work consists of rolling slides of the FBI’s reports on Robeson with a soundtrack of voices reading from the heavily-redacted documents.

The exhibition also features Weight 2016, a sculpture first exhibited at the recently closed Reading Gaol, where Oscar Wilde had been imprisoned and wrote De Profundis. A gold-plated mosquito net draped over one of the prison’s metal bedframes create a shimmering apparition.

Steve McQueen at Tate Modern runs from 13 February to 11 May 2020

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Tate Modern website here

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