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Natalia Goncharova at Tate Modern from 6 June to 8 September 2019

This summer, Tate Modern will present the UK’s first ever retrospective of the Russian avant-garde artist Natalia Goncharova. It will be a sweeping survey of a pioneering and radical figure, celebrated during her lifetime as a leading modernist artist.

Goncharova’s artistic output traces, influences and transcends the art movements of the 20th century. Born in 1881, she was inspired by the traditional customs and cultures of her native Central Russia – inspirations that pervade her life’s work. By the age of 32, she had already established herself as a leader of the Moscow avant-garde and was the subject of the first monographic exhibition ever staged by a Russian modernist artist. Arriving in Paris in 1914 at the invitation of Sergei Diaghilev, Goncharova was feted for her vibrant costume and set designs for the Ballets Russes.

The exhibition gathers together over 160 international loans which rarely travel, including from Russia’s State Tretyakov Gallery which houses the largest collection of Goncharova works in the world. At the heart of the show will be a room evoking Goncharova’s remarkable 1913 retrospective that was held at the Mikhailova Art Salon in Moscow, which originally featured some 800 works.

Highlights will include early paintings such as Peasants Gathering Apples 1911, formerly owned by the Morozov family, one of great art collectors of the early 20th century; the monumental seven-part work The Harvest 1911, bringing together paintings from four international collections; and her scandalous paintings of nudes, the first public display of which led to her trial for obscenity.

A section devoted to Goncharova’s religious painting will include the Evangelists 1911, a four-panel work which had delighted London in 1912 but shocked Russia’s capital of St Petersburg in 1914 where the authorities removed it from display.

A room will be dedicated to her work in fashion design and her collaborations with Nadezhda Lamanova, couturier of the Imperial court, while her forays into interior design will be represented by the decorative screen Spring 1928, commissioned by the Arts Club of Chicago and never lent until now, and Bathers 1922, a monumental triptych which will be displayed in the UK for the first time.

The exhibition will reunite Linen from Tate’s own collection with Loom + Woman (The Weaver) from the National Museum of Wales and The Forest from the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, all created in the same studio in 1913 and on display together for the first time since then.

Finally, the exhibition will close with a room dedicated to her collaborations with the Ballets Russes, the work for which she was best known from 1914 to the 1950s. It will present the artist’s most groundbreaking work for the theatre, including costume designs for Le Coq d’or (The Golden Cockerel) and Les Noces (The Wedding), both performed on London stages in the 1920s and 30s, as well as examples of actual costumes used in historic ballet productions.

For more information and tickets, visit the Tate Modern 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: Dorothea Tanning at Tate Modern – 27 February to 9 June 2019

Tate Modern presents a major exhibition of the work of American artist Dorothea Tanning (1910-2012). The exhibition is the first large-scale exhibition of her work for 25 years and the first ever to span Tanning’s seven-decade career. The exhibition brings together around 100 works from around the world and includes over a third of which are shown in the UK for the first time. Tanning worked in a range of media from paintings, drawings, stuffed textile sculptures and installations.

Dorothea Tanning was born in 1910 in the small town of Galesburg, Illinois and was fascinated by Gothic and Romantic literature. In the 1930s, she decided to move to Chicago then New York to pursue her artist career. She first encountered surrealism in New York in the 1930s and was instantly attracted to exploring the subconscious in her work. Tanning met German painter Max Ernst in 1942 and they married in 1946.

Tanning began to plumb her own subconscious depths with early works that takes ordinary domestic scenes and introduces gothic scenes that are full of strange imagery. Works from this period such as Children’s Games 1942 and Eine Kleine Nachtmusik 1943 are full of suppressed desires and burgeoning sexuality where open doors represent portals to other places.

Tanning applied these types of symbolism to self-portrait Birthday 1942 which she believed marked her ‘birth’ as a surrealist.

Doors and domestic settings became common motifs in the early part of her career with works like La Truite au bleu (Poached Trout), Some Roses and Their Phantoms and Portrait de famille (Family Portrait).

Tanning held a life-long passion for dance, music and performance and produced set and costume designs for ballets by George Balanchine and John Cranko in the late 1940-50s. These are shown with a series of dynamic figurative paintings such as Tango Lives 1977 that explore movement and sensuality.

In the mid-1960s, Tanning used her Singer sewing machine to make a highly original ‘family’ of soft sculptures that are a main focus of the exhibition. These hand-crafted sculptures are often like body parts that become contorted and intertwined objects. Works like Étreinte 1969 and Nue Couchée 1969-70 illustrate these transformations as does the remarkable room-sized installation Chambre 202, Hôtel du Pavot 1970-3.

After the death of Ernst in 1976, Tanning returned to New York and experimented with her soft sculptures that became objects that straddle the line between playful and sinister. Her later paintings followed this idea of transformation where bodies and nature merge in Poppies 1987 and On Avalon 1987.

This fascinating exhibition takes viewers into the strange and wonderful world of Dorothea Tanning. Her style is similar to Salvador Dali but with a Gothic twist that creates worlds full of symbolism and unconscious desires. Tanning is not widely known in the UK and this exhibition offers the viewer to explore her extraordinary career. In many respects, her strange worlds are oddly familiar which suggests she was perhaps ahead of her time and something of a pioneer.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the Tate Modern 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: Franz West at Tate Modern from 20 February – 2 June 2019

Tate Modern presents a major exhibition of the work of Franz West (1947-2012), this is the first posthumous retrospective and the most comprehensive survey of the artist’s work ever staged in the UK. The exhibition features nearly 200 works including abstract sculptures, furniture, collages and monumental outdoor works.

The exhibition explores the artist’s legacy by considering his work from over four decades and presents many of his well-known and rarely seen pieces. His friend and former collaborator Sarah Lucas has contributed to the exhibition by designing walls and pedestals.

West lived in Vienna and was influenced by the works of philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein and psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. He also enjoyed the atmosphere of the coffee houses that was often the centre of intellectual debate. The entrance to the exhibition brings you face to face with the artist with two films about the artist made in 1969 and 2002.

The exhibition shows First Passstück 1978/1994 alongside other important original works from the series, and the installation Passstücke mit Box und Video 1996 where four pieces can be handled by visitors.

In contrast to the earlier Passstücke, Legitimate Sculptures were not intended to be handled, some of these sculptures were created to stand on unconventional or deliberately crude plinths.

Combinations and Collaborations are two rooms that explore West’s work in the 1980s in which he brings together artworks and text in new ways and coming together with other artists to create unusual dynamics.

It was at this time, that the artist began to experiment with art and furniture which features furniture and furniture spaces not as functional pieces but pieces of work in their own right. He takes this to its logical conclusion with the A Franz West Living Room.

In the 1990s, West’s work became more widely known and he exhibited in several museums in Europe and the USA. He also began to create large-scale installations such as Auditorium 1992, West’s contribution to Documenta IX, and Epiphany on Chairs 2011.

The exhibition concludes with a series of West’s large aluminum works and a collection of maquettes for the artist’s outdoor sculptures. Also included is selection of West’s witty poster designs for his exhibitions.

Six of West’s monumental structures, including Dorit 2002 a six-metre tall tower in vibrant pink, are installed on Tate Modern’s South Landscape and there are other works outside of the exhibition space.

This interesting and attractive exhibition illustrates West’s playful approach to his work. Often seen as an outsider of the established art world, he often pokes fun at those who take art too seriously. Like Anselm Kiefer, he prefers his works to be enigmatic and allows the viewer to create their own narrative. Franz West is not widely known in the UK, therefore the exhibition allows the opportunity to discover the colourful and curious world of the artist.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the Tate Modern 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.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

Exhibition Review – Pierre Bonnard : Colour of Memory at Tate Modern from 23rd January to 6th May 2019

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Tate Modern presents the UK’s first major Pierre Bonnard exhibition in 20 years, the exhibition entitled  Pierre Bonnard : Colour of Memory explores the work of French painter and how he developed his own unique style. The exhibition brings together around 100 of his greatest works from museums and private collections around the world.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition spans four decades from the emergence of Bonnard’s unique style in 1912 to his death in 1947 and  shows how the artist constructed his paintings to express moments of particular significance.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition begins with Young Women in the Garden which illustrates how Bonnard would take an initial image but would continuously work on the canvas for months or years to get to a stage where the artist is satisfied. This particular painting was started in 1921-3 but was not finished till 1945-6. Not all his paintings took so long to complete but Bonnard liked to explore the idea of time and memories.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Bonnard lived with his partner Marthe de Meligny for 30 years before they got married in 1925, Man and Woman 1900 seems to celebrate their unconventional lifestyle and many of the artist’s early paintings featured Marthe in domestic scenes or vibrant landscapes  like Dining Room in the Country 1913, The Lane at Vernonnet 1912-14 and Coffee 1915.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Marthe was often the model for a series of nude studies especially that often involved water like Nude in the Bath 1936, and Nude crouching in tub 1918.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Bonnard bought his first car in 1911 and travelled extensively all over France, on these trips he developed his work on landscapes. His landscapes like Summer 1917 were generally more concerned with colour than just representation. Bonnard often visited Monet at Giverny and was inspired by the large water-lily canvases.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

After the First World War, the death of his mother led Bonnard to work on a series of domestic scenes often centred around meals, The Bowl of Milk 1919 illustrates how Bonnard was using different perspectives to record domestic scenes.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

His house in Vernonnet in Normandy was a constant inspiration where he could explore the relationship between man-made and natural environments. These studies led a more abstract approach with The Violet Fence 1922 and Studio with Mimosa 1939-46 .

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition concludes with a group of works created towards the end of Bonnard’s life, while spending the Second World War in Le Cannet in the South of France.  The war led the artist to look back on a lifetime of memories and create works that showed the beauty of the world and not the horror and  devastation.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

This fascinating exhibition offers the opportunity to study the works of Pierre Bonnard, although often overshadowed by other French painters of the period, Bonnard deserves to be recognised for this own unique style. Bonnard’s use of intense colours and modern compositions inspired many later artists to experiment with capturing fleeting moments, memories and emotions on canvas. In a period in which the world was tearing itself apart, Bonnard concentrated on the small pleasures of everyday life that enabled himself and other people to survive the severe political and social turmoil. 

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the Tate Modern 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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Pierre Bonnard : Colour of Memory at Tate Modern – 23rd January to 6th May 2019

In January 2019, Tate Modern will stage the UK’s first major Pierre Bonnard exhibition in 20 years, showing the work of this innovative and much-loved French painter in a new light. The exhibition will bring together around 100 of his greatest works from museums and private collections around the world. It will reveal how Bonnard’s intense colours and modern compositions transformed painting in the first half of the 20th century, and will celebrate his unparalleled ability to capture fleeting moments, memories and emotions on canvas.

Spanning four decades from the emergence of Bonnard’s unique style in 1912 to his death in 1947, Tate Modern’s exhibition will show how the artist constructed his vibrant landscapes and intimate domestic scenes from memory. At once sensuous and melancholy, these paintings express moments lost in time – the view from a window, a stolen look at a lover, or an empty room at the end of a meal. These motifs can be seen in breakthrough works like Dining Room in the Country 1913 (Minneapolis Institute of Art) in which he brought interior and exterior spaces together to create a vibrant atmosphere, while the bright colours of works like The Lane at Vernonnet 1912-14 (Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh) exemplify how his palette could still evoke the poignancy of a moment gone forever.

The exhibition will emphasise Bonnard as a 20th century artist who – like his friend and contemporary Henri Matisse – had a profound impact on modern painting and would become an influential figure for later artists like Mark Rothko and Patrick Heron. Bonnard will be repositioned as a man who engaged with the world around him, revealing overlooked areas of his activities – from his frequent travels around France and his practice of working on different subjects side by side, to his response to the crises of both the First and Second World War. Alert to his surroundings, he developed unconventional compositions in his paintings of everyday life: his landscapes collapsed into layers of dense foliage, such as Summer 1917 (Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul-de-Vence) and street scenes, as in Piazza del Popolo, Rome 1922 (private collection), were simplified into friezes. Perhaps most famously, his interior scenes like Coffee 1915 (Tate) and Nude in an interior c.1935 (National Gallery of Art, Washington) caught domestic life at uncanny moments and reframed them from snatched points of view.

Bonnard’s process of reimagining through memory also allowed his paintings to become more abstract. This is already evident in the bands of contrasting colour in works like The Violet Fence 1922 (Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh) but reaches a high-point in the vivid Studio with Mimosa 1939-46 (Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou, Paris). The exhibition will conclude with a group of works created towards the end of Bonnard’s life, while spending the Second World War in Le Cannet living with scarce resources and the anxiety of invasion. These panoramic views and vibrant garden scenes show the artist looking back on a lifetime of memories and working on the brink of abstraction.

For more information and tickets, visit the Tate Modern 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.
To find out more visit the website
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Exhibition Review: Anni Albers at Tate Modern – 11 October 2018 to 27 January 2019

Tate Modern presents the UK’s first major retrospective of the work of Anni Albers (1899–1994). This exhibition brings together her most important works from major collections in the US and Europe, many of which will be shown in the UK for the first time. Albers’ work is not widely known and the exhibition explores the artist’s role in the Bauhaus movement and provides some recognition of Albers’ contribution to modern art and design.

The exhibition features over 350 objects including small-scale studies, large wall-hangings, jewellery and textiles designed for mass production.

Born in Berlin at the turn of the 20th century, Annelise Else Frieda Fleischmann became a student at the Bauhaus in 1922, where she met her husband Josef Albers and other modernist figures like Paul Klee. She was discouraged to pursue a painting career but found that weaving textiles was a medium in which she excelled. It was within the Bauhaus weaving workshop that traditional hand-weaving began to be redefined as modern art.

The first room brings together the UK’s largest grouping of Albers’ weavings designed during this period, such as Wallhanging 1924 and Black White Yellow 1926, alongside studies, textile samples and works by Albers’ contemporaries, including the head of the Bauhaus weaving workshop Gunta Stölzl (1897-1983).

The creative crucible of the Bauhaus was curtailed with the rise of Nazism and Albers left Germany in 1933 for the USA where she taught at the experimental Black Mountain College for over 15 years. While she was at the college, she made frequent visits to Mexico, Chile and Peru, and amassed an extensive collection of ancient Pre-Columbian textiles.

Influenced by this collection, Albers began to create a series of ‘pictorial weavings’ including With Verticals 1946, Epitaph 1968 and Tikal 1958.

The artist began to explore the relationship between textiles and architecture illustrated in her seminal essay ‘The Pliable Plane: Textiles in Architecture’, 1957, in which Albers advocates the use of textile for decorative and functional spaces. In this section is works created for the Harvard Graduate Center, the Rockefeller Guest House in New York and Rena Rosenthal’s Madison Avenue store.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is Six Prayers 1966-67, Albers’ moving memorial commemorating the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust, commissioned by the Jewish Museum in New York.

In the final rooms of the exhibition, there are a number of works that illustrate Albers’ writings such as ‘On Designing’ 1959 and ‘On Weaving’ 1965, in which she considers the history of weaving as a global phenomenon, going back thousands of years. Working from this long tradition, Albers’ work often pays homage to the past, yet is modern and original. Late works such as TR II 1970 and Red Meander I 1969-70 reveals her constant experimentation and development of her art.

This exhibition introduces the work of Anni Albers to a wider audience and raises a number of questions about how certain mediums are generally ignored by the wider art establishment. Albers work in the Bauhaus was part of a process that would allow traditional hand-weaving to be redefined as modern art. This process is still ongoing with the often blurred lines between art and craft both in the past and the present. Tate Modern are committed to showing artists working in textiles and Anni Albers provides a wonderful introduction into the medium. Her works and intellectual approach to the medium was to define it as modern art, it has just taken a long time for the art establishment to begin to define it in the same way.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the Tate Modern 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.
To find out more visit the website
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Review: Tania Bruguera at Tate Modern – 2 October 2018 to 24 February 2019

The Tate Modern presents a series of interventions into the Turbine Hall and the institution around it, devised by Cuban artist and activist Tania Bruguera. In response to the crisis in migration, Bruguera has decided to focus on community action.

Bruguera invites visitors to take part in actions within the Turbine Hall, from revealing a portrait of a person’s face hidden beneath a heat-sensitive floor, to crying under the influence of an organic compound.

She has also worked with Tate Modern’s neighbours to create direct action: institutional changes that include renaming part of the museum itself. Tate Modern’s north building, the Boiler House, has been renamed in honour of local activist Natalie Bell, chosen for her positive contribution to the lives of others in SE1. The renaming, which will be in effect for one year, recognises the value of community work for society.

When visitors enter the Turbine Hall, they are faced with a painted black floor and a low-frequency sound, made in collaboration with sound artist and founder of Hyperdub records Steve Goodman (known as Kode9), charges the space with an unsettling energy and a sense that something is changing.

To take the idea of community action further, Bruguera has brought together a group of 21 people who live or work in the same postcode as Tate Modern to explore how the museum can learn from and adapt to its local community beyond the duration of the commission.

Since Tate Modern opened in 2000, the Turbine Hall has hosted a number of  large works of contemporary art, reaching an audience of millions each year. Every year, artists interpret the vast industrial space to produce work that challenge public perceptions of contemporary art.

For more information, visit the Tate Modern 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.
To find out more visit the website
here