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William Blake at Tate Britain from 11 September 2019 to 2 February 2020

This autumn, Tate Britain will present the largest survey of work by William Blake (1757-1827) in the UK for a generation. A visionary painter, printmaker and poet, Blake created some of the most iconic images in the history of British art and has remained an inspiration to artists, musicians, writers and performers worldwide for over two centuries. This exhibition will bring together over 300 remarkable and rarely seen works and rediscover Blake as a visual artist for the 21st century.

Tate Britain will reimagine the artist’s work as he intended it to be experienced. Blake’s art was a product of his tumultuous times, with revolution, war and progressive politics acting as the crucible of his unique imagination, yet he struggled to be understood and appreciated during his life.

Now renowned as a poet, Blake also had grand ambitions as a visual artist and envisioned vast frescos that were never realised. For the first time, The Spiritual Form of Nelson Guiding Leviathan c.1805-9 and The Spiritual Form of Pitt Guiding Behemoth c.1805 will be digitally enlarged and projected onto the gallery wall on the huge scale that Blake imagined. The original artworks will be displayed nearby in a restaging of Blake’s ill-fated exhibition of 1809, the artist’s only significant attempt to create a public reputation for himself as a painter. Tate will recreate the domestic room above his family hosiery shop in which the show was held, allowing visitors to encounter the paintings exactly as people did in 1809.

The exhibition will provide a vivid biographical framework in which to consider Blake’s life and work. There will be a focus on London, the city in which he was born and lived for most of his life. The burgeoning metropolis was a constant inspiration for the artist, offering an environment in which harsh realities and pure imagination were woven together. His creative freedom was also dependent on the unwavering support of those closest to him, his friends, family and patrons.

The exhibition will highlight the vital presence of his wife Catherine who offered both practical assistance and became an unacknowledged hand in the production of his engravings and illuminated books. The exhibition will showcase a series of illustrations to Pilgrim’s Progress 1824-27 and a copy of the book The complaint, and the consolation Night Thoughts 1797, now thought to be coloured by Catherine.

Tate Britain’s exhibition will open with Albion Rose c.1793, an exuberant visualisation of the mythical founding of Britain, created in contrast to the commercialisation, austerity and crass populism of the times. A section of the exhibition will also be dedicated to his illuminated books such as Songs of Innocence and of Experience 1794, his central achievement as a radical poet.

Additional highlights will include a selection of works from the Royal Collection and some of his best-known paintings including Newton 1795-c.1805 and Ghost of a Flea c.1819-20. This intricate work was inspired by a séance-induced vision and will be shown alongside a rarely seen preliminary sketch. The exhibition will close with The Ancient of Days 1827, a frontispiece for an edition of Europe: A Prophecy, completed only days before the artist’s death.

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

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Exhibition Review : Van Gogh and Britain at Tate Britain from 27 March to 11 August 2019


Tate Britain presents a major exhibition about Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890). The exhibition entitled Van Gogh and Britain explores Van Gogh’s relationship with British art, literature and culture and how Van Gogh’s work inspired British artists like Walter Sickert, Frank Brangwyn, Matthew Smith, Jacob Epstein, David Bomberg and Francis Bacon.

The exhibition includes over 45 works by the artist from public and private collections around the world which is the largest group of Van Gogh paintings shown in the UK for nearly a decade. Van Gogh and Britain is the first exhibition of the artist’s work at Tate in over 70 years, when a blockbuster show in 1947 attracted record-breaking crowds. The exhibition was a phenomenon in London and went on to tour to Birmingham and Glasgow.

Some of the highlights include Self-Portrait 1889, L’Arlésienne 1890, Starry Night on the Rhône 1888, Shoes 1886 and the rarely loaned Sunflowers 1888 from the National Gallery in London. The exhibition also features late works including two painted by Van Gogh in the Saint-Paul asylum, At Eternity’s Gate 1890 and Prisoners Exercising 1890.

Van Gogh spent time in London between 1873 and 1876 and explored British culture during his stay. He admired works by John Constable and John Everett Millais and enjoyed British writers like William Shakespeare, Christina Rossetti and especially Charles Dickens. Despite this influence, his only image of London is the remarkable Prisoners Exercising, from Gustave Doré’s print of Newgate Prison.

The period in London was to influence Van Gogh in other way, his unrequited love for this landlady’s daughter led to change of character from relatively carefree to someone obsessed with religion. Dore’s work and Dickens played a major role in his development as an artist especially regarding subject matter. He wrote that ‘My whole life is aimed at making the things from everyday life that Dickens describes and these artists draw’.

The self portraits created during the 1880s show a man driven to capture the world around him with landscapes like Wheatfield Arles 1888, Autumn Landscape at Dusk Nuenen 1885, Avenue of Poplars in Autumn Nuenen 1884 and Olive Trees, St Remy 1889.

He also began to paint workers including Miners in the Snow Cuesmes 1880 and Loom with Weaver Nuenen 1884.

The Sorrowing old man 1890 gives some indication of the time when Van Gogh is descending into mental illness and ultimately his suicide.

Although Van Gogh died in relative obscurity, the Van Gogh exhibition of 1947 began to illustrate that people and artists attitudes were changing. The art works brightened up post war Britain when people were looking for a new beginning after the tragedy of the war. Modern British artists like Matthew Smith, Christopher Wood and David Bomberg saw new possibilities with their art and Francis Bacon saw himself like Van Gogh, the embattled, misunderstood artist, an art outsider.

This fascinating exhibition is a reminder of the often cruel twist of fate that befall artists. Van Gogh commits suicide because of his lack of success and recognition. Over 100 years later, Van Gogh is one of the most famous artists in the world and his paintings sell for millions. This exhibition provides the opportunity to understand the role that Britain played in that transformation. The influence of Dore and Dickens were considerable but it is the remarkable intensity and dynamism of some of the paintings that generally appeal to a modern audience. The exhibition of 1947 was a turning point for the appreciation of Van Gogh in the UK, this exhibition confirms his status as one of the great artists.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

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

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Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
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Exhibition Review : Edward Burne-Jones at Tate Britain from 24 October 2018 to 24 February 2019

Tate Britain presents the largest Edward Burne-Jones retrospective to be held in the UK for a generation. Edward Burne-Jones is best known for his ties to the Pre-Raphaelites and his symbolist works of myths and legends. The exhibition brings together over 150 works in different media including painting, stained glass and tapestry and includes work created working for William Morris. Burne-Jones was born in Birmingham and whilst at Oxford became friends with William Morris who were both influenced by Gabriel Rossetti. Burne-Jones had intended to enter the church but was persuaded by Rossetti to become an artist.

The exhibition begins by looking at Burne-Jones relationship with Rossetti, its was the artist-poet who encouraged him and found him support from fellow artists and patrons. Works here include two stain glass windows related to Chaucer’s ‘Goode Wimmin’, The Wine of Circe and The Lament.

Rossetti was very impressed by Burne-Jones draughtsmanship and the second room entitled ‘Burne-Jones as a Draughtsman’ includes many of his drawings including Desiderium.

From 1877, Burne-Jones began to exhibit his paintings at the new Grosvenor Gallery that was seen as an alternative to the Royal Academy, some of his most popular pictures were Love among the Ruins, The Wheel of Fortune and The Golden Stairs.

Room four features a number of portraits, a number of familiar faces appear in these portraits including his wife Georgina and his daughter Margaret. Other portraits include paintings of Amy Gaskell and Lady Windsor.

From 1875, Burne-Jones worked on a number of paintings as part of a narrative cycle concerning myths and legends, the exhibition includes the Perseus Series and the Briar Rose series.

The Briar Rose series based on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale were especially popular with critics and general public.

The final room looks at ‘Burne-Jones as Designer’ and his influence on decorative arts at the end of the 19th century. Burne-Jones worked in a number of different media including painting, stained glass, tapestry, embroidery, furniture and book illustration. His work for Morris and Co was highly valued especially his many designs for stained glass windows. In this room is the remarkable Graham Piano 1879-80, embroideries, illustrated books and spectacular large-scale tapestries like The Arming and Departure of the Knights of the Round Table on the Quest for the Holy Grail 1890-1894 and Adoration of the Magi 1894.

This fascinating exhibition explores the work and legacy of an artist who is often associated with the Pre-Raphaelites and Symbolist movements. The exhibition suggests that Burne-Jones is one of the most influential British artists of the 19th century and walking around the exhibition it would be difficult to suggest that this is not the case. However his pursuit of ‘beauty’ in art was often at odds with the social realism movements at the turn of the twentieth century. Without doubt, his draughtsmanship was widely admired by many and unlike many of his contemporaries, he did achieve world-wide fame and recognition in his life-time. Edward Burne-Jones works did touch a chord with sections of Victorian society who loved the escapism of his enchanted worlds inhabited by beautiful and melancholy beings. For much of the 20th century, his work has been overlooked, this exhibition is a reminder of the range and scope of his work and highlights his distinct and original approach to painting and decorative arts.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

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

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Exhibition Review : Turner Prize 2018 at Tate Britain – 26th September 2018 to 6th January 2019

The Tate Britain presents an exhibition of work by the four artists shortlisted for Turner Prize 2018, the artists are Forensic Architecture, Naeem Mohaiemen, Charlotte Prodger and Luke Willis Thompson.

Forensic Architecture presents its investigations surrounding the Bedouin communities of the Naqab/Negev region of southern Israel.

The videos, photographs and other documentary evidence investigate the events of 18 January 2017, a day on which an attempt by police to clear an unrecognised Bedouin village resulted in the deaths of two people.

Naeem Mohaiemen’s films and installations bring together archives, photographs and interviews that explore ideas of hope and loneliness.

Two Meetings and a Funeral is a documentary film shown on three screens, centring on the power struggle between the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in the 1970s. Tripoli Cancelled is Mohaiemen’s first fiction film, following the daily routine of a man who spends a decade living alone in an abandoned airport.

Charlotte Prodger presents Bridgit which filmed on an iPhone over the course of a year. It is made up of recordings of the Scottish countryside as well as shots from inside Prodger’s home.

Sounds from her environment are overlaid with a narration read by the artist and her friends including extracts from her diaries and books written by figures from queer history.

Luke Willis Thompson works across film, performance and installation. His films examine the relationship between a person and their representation. For the Turner Prize, Thompson presents a trilogy of works on 35mm film: Cemetery of Uniforms and Liveries, autoportrait and _Human.

In these three films, Thompson reframes histories of violence enacted against certain people, and offers counter-images to the media spectacle of our digital age.

Established in 1984, the Turner Prize aims to promote public debate around new developments in contemporary British art. The Prize is often controversial with critics and the public debating the old ‘is it art’ argument, however this year the debate is likely to be more about the lack of diversity with all the shortlisted artists working with the moving image and being ‘issue based’. All this debate often overshadows the works which in 2018 offer a very personal look into the modern world even if they are presented in wider contexts.

The Turner Prize is one of the world’s best-known prizes for the visual arts and the award fund is £40,000 with £25,000 going to the winner and £5,000 each for the other shortlisted artists.

There will be a free entry to the exhibition for everyone aged 25 or under for the first 25 days of the show. The winner will be announced on Tuesday 4 December at an awards ceremony live on the BBC.

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

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Exhibition Review – Aftermath: Art in the wake of World War One at Tate Britain from 5th June to 23rd September 2018

Tate Britain presents an exhibition entitled Aftermath: Art in the wake of World War One which marks 100 years since the end of the First World War and explores the immediate impact of the conflict on British, German and French art. The exhibition brings together over 150 works from 1916 to 1932 by artists including George Grosz, Fernand Léger, Jacob Epstein, Paul Nash and C.R.W. Nevinson.

The first room in the exhibition illustrates some of the problems faced by artists in portraying the war. With many artists restricted by state censorship, many of the pictures are symbolic with devastated landscapes or soldier’s helmets or other equipment scattered on the battlefield. Pictures such as William Orpen’s A Grave in a Trench 1917 and Paul Jouve’s Tombe d’un soldat serbe a Kenali 1917 became part of the visual culture of portraying the conflict.

After the armistice, the attention moved from the battlefield to official public memorials which would provide a focus for mourning and remembrance. In the UK, the Cenotaph and the Tomb for the Unknown Soldier became important memorials which were used in remembrance ceremonies. Artists including Käthe Kollwitz, André Mare and Charles Sargeant Jagger produced sculptural memorials to commemorate those who lost their lives in the conflict. The large memorials contrasted with some of the more smaller and more personal memorials that used relics of the battlefield such as shrapnel and mortar shells.

The exhibition illustrates that although the dead were mourned after the war, those that had survived but suffered terrible physical and psychological scars faced an uncertain future with little infrastructure to deal with the scale of the problems. In Britain, images of wounded soldiers such as Henry Tonks’s medical pastel portraits give some idea of some of the issues. In Germany, Works such as George Grosz’s Grey Day 1921 and Otto Dix’s Prostitute and Disabled War Veteran 1923 were used in a more political sense.

For some artists, the traditional genres of painting seemed incapable of illustrating the fragmentation of societies and psychology of the self. Jacob Epstein had produced the powerful abstract Torso in metal from the ‘Rock Drill’ in 1913-14 but after the war the birth of dada and surrealism in the work of Hannah Höch, Max Ernst, André Masson and Edward Burra began to create new visual forms to process experiences and memories of the conflict. Heartfield’s The Petit-Bourgeois Philistine Heartfield Gone Wild. Electro-Mechanical Tatlin Sculpture 1920 provides a very different approach to portray physical and psychological scars.

Prints became a popular way to portray some of the aspects of the conflicts and the Print Portfolio room has a series of prints by Max Beckmann, Käthe Kollwitz and Georges Rouault.

The final rooms examine how post-war society began to rebuild itself, some artists such as Georges Braque, Christian Schad and Winifred Knights sought  reassurance from the past whilst others such as Fernand Léger, Paul Citroen, and C.R.W. Nevinson turned their minds to visions of a technological future in the modern city.

This fascinating exhibition is the latest in a series of exhibitions and events in London that have portrayed different aspects of the First World War. This exhibition deals specifically with the impact on British, French and German art and it is noticeable that the artistic response in many ways reflected how the various nations were impacted by the war. Britain had suffered very little physical damage but suffered considerable psychological damage with its large losses and injuries. France had to deal with large areas of physical and psychological damage. Germany had suffered less physical damage, but the war and the paying of reparations led to considerable political turmoil that would eventually lead to rise of Nazi Germany.

Visiting London Guide Rating  – Highly Recommended 

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

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
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London : 1968 at Tate Britain – 7th May to 31st October 2018

Vote for Guy Fawkes, 1968 Screenprint – Courtesy Alexander Peter Dukes

To mark 50 years since the protests of 1968, a new free display at Tate Britain reveals how artists in London responded to this watershed moment in political and social history.

1968 witnessed a series of protests across the globe. Although the different movements were not united by one singular goal, there was a shared sense of youthful rebellion and a struggle against oppression that was both personal and political.

 

1968 Screenprint – Courtesy Alexander Peter Dukes

London: 1968 features a series of iconic agit-prop posters by the Camden Poster Workshop, who moved their studio into the London School of Economics during the student occupation in October. Inspired by the Atelier Populaire in Paris, between 1968-1971 anyone could commission a poster from the workshop, using screenprinting equipment to create posters for workers, tenants’ associations and liberation movements from all over the world. The posters leave behind a permanent visual record of pertinent issues of the time such as rent and industrial strikes, the Vietnam War and civil rights movements in Ireland, America and South Africa.

 

Vuka: Stand by the Revolutionary Patriots of Victoria West, South Africa, 1969 Screenprint – Courtesy Alexander Peter Dukes

Also in the display, a film by Patricia Holland looks at the occupation of Hornsey School of Art by its students, while archive material delves deeper into the activities of these artists and the wider impact of May 68.

London: 1968 brings together work by radical artists including Barry Flanagan, Richard Long, Joseph Beuys and Mario Merz who participated in the landmark exhibition When Attitudes Become Form at London’s ICA in 1969. The exhibition was initiated and researched in the immediate aftermath of May 68, reflecting its idealism. Just as the student protestors were questioning the political, social and cultural establishment, these artists were questioning the nature of the art object.

 London: 1968 coincides with 1968: Protest and the Photobook, a free display at Tate Modern bringing together politically engaged photobooks made during this period. The photobooks reflect a surge of political activism in places such as France, Japan, Italy, Mexico and Czechoslovakia. Some document marches and demonstrations, with the photographer bearing witness to collective action, while in others, the photobook is itself a medium of protest, conveying a specific perspective on events.

For more information, visit the Tate Britain website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Exhibition Review – All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life at Tate Britain from 28th February to 27th August 2018

Tate Britain presents an exhibition entitled All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life which showcases around 100 works by some of the most celebrated modern British artists featuring many works by Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon. 

The exhibition explores how generations of British artists began to explore some of the boundaries of figurative painting in the 20th century. Central to the exhibition is the work of Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon who began to present more honest depictions of models of all shapes and sizes.

Both Freud and Bacon were following a theme going back to artists like Walter Sickert and Chaïm Soutine in the early 20th century.  The first room in the exhibition features work by Sickert, Soutine and Stanley Spencer.

The next room pairs together a series of works by Francis Bacon alongside a sculpture by Giacometti which explores the themes of alienation and isolation.  

The exhibition highlights the teaching of William Coldstream at the Slade School of Fine Art and David Bomberg at the Borough Polytechnic who were considered influential in the encouragement of later artists like Michael Andrews, Euan Uglow , Frank Auerbach and Leon Kossoff .

All these artists developed their own particular style and the exhibition features Auerbach’s and Kossoff’s fascination with London’s streets and public spaces, F.N. Souza’s spiritual and symbolic figures, and Michael Andrews’s and R.B. Kitaj’s interest in group scenes and storytelling.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is the room entitled Lucien Freud: In the Studio in which has a number of the artist’s works including Sleeping by the Lion Carpet 1996 and David and Eli 2003-4. In the preview, two of the models for the paintings were present to come face to face with their representations.

Freud is often associated with Francis Bacon and the next room explores how Bacon often worked from photographs, John Deakin’s portraits of friends and lovers were often the starting point for some of Bacon’s work.

The exhibition also explores how women artists have developed in the traditionally male-dominated field of figurative painting. The works of Paula Rego explores the roles of women in society such as in The Family 1988.

Later Contemporary artists like Cecily Brown, Celia Paul, Jenny Saville and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye began to find ways of taking the painting of figures in new directions.

This fascinating exhibition provides plenty of evidence of the ways that British figurative painters found new and interesting ways to capture life on canvas throughout the 20th century.  Many of the artists moved beyond the superficial to explore some of the deeper elements of the human condition. As the exhibition illustrates, these sometimes expose some of uglier elements of human nature. Artists like Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon and others influenced by the often tragic and dramatic events of the 20th century, perhaps developed more honest depictions of the different sides of human beings.

Video Review available here

Visiting London Guide Rating  – Highly Recommended 

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

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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