Tate galleries are closed due to coronavirus until further notice. We look forward to welcoming you back when we reopen 💛
Tate galleries are closed due to coronavirus until further notice. We look forward to welcoming you back when we reopen 💛
✈️ The next member of our team sharing their favourite artwork is Information Assistant Steven Smith, who's usually on hand to look after visitors when they arrive at Tate Britain or Tate Modern. Steven has chosen 'Concorde Grid' by Wolfgang Tillmans, a series of 56 colour photographs. 'When I was growing up my dad had three go-to days out: One: Black Country Museum. Two: Canal walk. Three: (And this was the big-hitter ) Day at Birmingham Airport. For 'three' we'd most often get a day-ticket for the observation tower. But sometimes, and this seems implausible now, we'd sit on a grass bank fenced off only metres from the end of the runway. From here we'd watch an Orion charter flight through the heat-shimmer of its noisy engine. 'Ere we go' my dad would say. The delta silhouette of Concorde in Tillmans' montage reminds me of the hundreds of photographs my dad would take from these days out. Distant arrowheads all only marginally different and - in dad's case - too far away by conventional framing standards. Perhaps Tillmans' pictures evokes in me a consideration of, say, the limitations of modernity, globalisation, Anglo-French relations or issues around the potentially divisive impact of access to international travel. And I suppose I'd like to think that the work has taken on a new layer of resonance in recent months as lockdown impacts on air travel and the skies are reclaimed by other silhouettes. I'd like it to mean all this to me, but mainly, now refracted through the heat-shimmer of nostalgia, it reminds me of Birmingham Airport and of days out with my dad.' - Steven Smith, Information Assistant, Visitor Communications. 📷 Wolfgang Tillmans, Concorde Grid, 1997, chosen by Steven #MuseumfromHome #TateLoves 💛
#ArtWords : ‘Plein Air’ is a French term which means out of doors and refers to the artists painting entire finished pictures outside the studio. 🍃 This was unusual before the 19th century, when artists would create preparatory landscape sketches outdoors but finish the piece inside. The plein air approach was pioneered by the British painter John Constable and later became fundamental to impressionism. Its popularity grew in the 1870s with the introduction of paints in tubes, which made the process much simpler and less messy. Beforehand, painters had to make their own paints by grinding and mixing dry pigment powders with linseed oil. 🎨 John Constable, Flatford Mill (‘Scene on a Navigable River’ ), 1816-7.
What will you be cooking this weekend? 🍳 We love this peaceful painting by Spencer Gore of his wife Mollie Kerr cooking dinner on a gas stove in their Camden flat. Gore saw unremarkable interiors and mundane daily tasks as worthy subjects of art, and his work often gives them a quiet intensity. We hope that after painting, he helped out with the chopping. 🥕🥔🧄 Spencer Gore, The Gas Cooker, 1913
Our galleries may be closed, but you can still bring Tate home. Here are five springtime works available as prints to brighten your week, and your walls. Click the link in our bio to virtually peruse @TateShops . Have a glorious weekend. ☀️ 🌳 John Crome, The Poringland Oak c.1818–20 🌸 Sir Cedric Morris, Bt, Iris Seedlings 1943 💐 Edwina Sandys, Bowl of Flowers 1975 ☁️ Charles Ginner, Victoria Embankment Gardens 1912 🎨 Patrick Heron, Azalea Garden: May 1956 1956
If you enjoyed @misssanchialege 's last art-inspired 'slow looking' session, you'll be excited to hear she's back! This time, as part of tonight's Uniqlo #TateLates Night In programme, Sanchia will be leading a calming, guided meditation inspired by instructions from Yoko Ono’s 1964 book Grapefruit. Join us from 7pm BST online for workshops, film, music, art and artists—Sanchia's meditation will begin at 8.40pm. Also in tonight's programme, introduced by @gemagain : poetry from @raymond_antrobus and @anthony_anaxagorou , zine-making with @riotsoup , chats with @kara_walker_official , visuals from @wolfgang_tillmans and music from @floatingpoints —written and created from an impromptu studio in his house during isolation. Click the link in our bio to tune in, from 7pm tonight. 🎶🧘⛲✂️🎨 #MuseumfromHome In partnership with @uniqlo_uk ✨
💧 This Friday's #TateLoves staff pick is Hilary Lloyd's 'One Minute of Water' 1999, chosen by Madi Walsh on our Digital Team. 'There's something about One Minute of Water that takes me away from my surroundings. It's discrete, easy to walk by unnoticed and yet if it does catch your eye you can become absorbed by the picture. The cassette continuously loops a one minute recording of water. Vividly coloured, reflecting the setting sun and without discernible context the result is glasslike, abstract and hypnotic. There's a stillness when watching as the minutes roll by, creating the illusion of an infinitely unique recording. I've been returning to this work in my thoughts since the lockdown. Its portable apparatus, the way the mechanisms are displayed and the small monitor that holds the unending watery loop has morphed into something new for me. I now feel I'm looking at a figure, a reflection.'
'She is still here, holding the space of the Turbine Hall for us. ⛲ Thanks to the Risk, Health and Safety Manager Stephan Venter for sending pictures and keeping watch. Hopefully we can have a last look at her in person. No guarantees, like life... but we are all better safe than sorry. Be well out there everyone. Kara' - @kara_walker_official Tomorrow evening, Kara Walker will be in discussion with Tate Modern’s Director @francesmarymorris about her Hyundai Commission: 'Fons Americanus' which, while the galleries are closed, sits quietly in Tate Modern's Turbine Hall. The talk forms part of our Uniqlo #TateLates Night In programme—an online evening of music, meditation, art & artists. Click the link in our bio to see the full programme and to tune in for your favourite bits, from 7pm tomorrow. Tate Lates is in partnership with @Uniqlo_UK Thank you Stephan for sharing these images.
While the galleries are closed we've been exploring Tate's Archive, which includes over one million items—letters, writings, sketchbooks, audio-visual material, photographs, objects etc.—that tell stories of Tate's art and artists. Today we're looking at photographs by Bloomsbury Group artist Vanessa Bell (1879-1961 ). Bell spent her life taking photographs of the people close to her, such as her husband Clive Bell and her lovers Duncan Grant and Roger Fry. While her photo albums provide a unique visual record of the Bloomsbury Group, they also give an insight into her life as an artist. Bell's photographs capture carefree moments, taken mostly in the garden of Charleston, including scenes with her children dressing up and performing works by her sister Virginia Woolf. Rented by Clive Bell when the First World War broke out, Charleston Farmhouse became a shelter for the group. The families created a commune and a free place for them to forge what was then considered an ‘unconventional’ way of living. The group of writers, artists and thinkers practiced polyamory and encouraged same-sex relationships. The farmhouse was as important a part of the Bloomsbury Group as the people, and is now a museum and an important heritage space for LGBTQ+ history. Bell and Grant spent their time decorating the house throughout their life there, and Charleston was visited by all kinds of guests including Roger Fry, David Garnett, T. S. Eliot and Desmond and Molly MacCarthy. 🗝️ Click the link in our bio to see what #TateTreasures you can find in Tate's Archive. & a big thank you to the #TateArchive team for working hard to make our collections accessible during this time. Vanessa Bell, 1930 Julian, Quentin & Angelica Bell performing a play at Charleston, Sussex Charleston farmhouse in Firle, Sussex, home of Bell & Grant Duncan Grant at Asheham House, 1912 Duncan Grant & Angelica Bell in the garden of Charleston farmhouse, 1927 Vanessa Bell sitting outside Charleston farmhouse in Sussex, 1928 Grant & Bell in La Bergere, their house in South of France Frederick Ashton, Lydia Lopokova, Duncan Grant and Billy Chappell drinking in the garden at Charleston
Another glorious day where we are. ☀️ We hope this sunny black and white collection adds some warmth to your week. #TateWeather 🐦 Herbert List, The bird, Hyde Park, London 1937 💭 Daido Moriyama, Memory 2012 🐕 Miyako Ishiuchi, Yokosuka Story 1977 🍺 Willy Ronis, Gaston Berlemont’s pub, The French House, Soho, London 1955 🕶️ Henry Wessel Incidents 025 2012 🤿 Elliot Erwitt, London 1978, later print 👙 Vanessa Winship, Novorossiysk, Russia 2002–6 🏰 Dorothy Bohm, Tower of London c.1960–9 ⚫ Click the link in our bio for an A-Z on Modernist Photography. ⚪
#WorkoftheWeek is Bhupen Khakhar’s ‘You Can’t Please All’. This large oil painting was created in Gujarat, India, and took 5 months to complete. 🎨 Khakhar began with a sketch on the canvas in charcoal, and then added layers of paint with the canvas laid flat on the floor. He believed that ‘it is ultimately the colour which determines the painting’, sometimes applying pigment straight from the tube which contributes to the extreme thickness of paint in some areas of his canvases. His work draws upon different visual traditions - incorporating the colours and detailing of Indian miniatures and the boldness of Western pop art. The title of this work comes from one of Aesop’s fables in which a father and son take their donkey to market and are repeatedly criticised for not riding it, for each one of them riding it, and finally for carrying it, resulting in it being dropped off a bridge and drowning. The story ends with the lesson ‘please all, and you will please none!’ Khakhar also revealed that the almost life-size naked male figure on the right of the painting who surveys the scene is himself and this work represents his coming out as a gay man. The difficulties he faced are suggested by the work’s title. 🖌️ Bhupen Khakhar, You Can’t Please All, 1981.
📢 Announced today: Tate Britain will be awarding one-off bursaries of £10,000 to 10 artists in place of this year’s #TurnerPrize . The ‘Turner Bursaries’ will be selected by the prize's jury at the end of June. This decision was made to help support a greater selection of artists through this challenging time of profound disruption and uncertainty. The Turner Prize is named after J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851 ) who was an innovative and controversial artist in his day, now seen as one of the greatest British artists—you can see some of his famous sea paintings above. Turner expressed a wish to establish a prize for young artists who showed a radical approach to art. Alex Farquharson, Director of Tate Britain and chair of the Turner Prize jury, said: 'I think Turner, who once planned to leave his fortune to support artists in their hour of need, would approve of our decision. I appreciate visitors will be disappointed that there is no Turner Prize this year, but we can all look forward to it returning in 2021.' ☀️ Read more by clicking the link in today's bio. Paintings by J.M.W. Turner: 🌊 Seascape c.1835–40 🐬 Stormy Sea with Dolphins c.1835–40 ⛅ Breakers on a Flat Beach c.1835–40 ☁️ Seascape with Distant Coast c.1840 ⛵ Seascape with a Sailing Boat and a Ship c.1825
While our galleries are closed, we bring you Uniqlo #TateLates : Night In! 🌑 Join us ONLINE on Friday for workshops, film, music, art and artists—with talks from @kara_walker_official , talks and visuals from @wolfgang_tillmans , meditation with @misssanchialege and lots more. Swipe left for the full artist-led programme and click the link in our bio to find the stream. Join us: Friday 29 May from 7pm. In partnership with @uniqlo_uk ✨
Get to know… Dorothea Lange 📷 The influential American documentary photographer was born #onthisday in 1895. She is best known for her work for the Farm Security Administration which humanised the consequences of the Great Depression in the 1930s. About 14 million people were unemployed and 300,000 of them came to California in the hope of finding work. Lange, who at the time had a successful portrait photography studio, went out into the streets to photograph them. In documenting the extent of the social and economic upheaval of the Depression, she felt that she had found her purpose and direction in photography. Her images were distributed free to newspapers across the country and brought the struggles of sharecroppers, displaced farm families and migrant workers to public attention. This photograph ‘Migrant Mother’ is one of her most well known. Taken as part of a project photographing migrant labourers in Southern California, it depicts Florence Owens Thompson, a 32 year old mother living in extreme poverty. It is estimated to be one of the most reproduced photos in the world. Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1936
Enjoy the blue skies this bank holiday. 💙 Alfred Sisley, The Small Meadows in Spring 1880 ☀️ Tate collection
What's your newest hobby? 🎹 Duncan Grant, Girl at the Piano 1940, Tate collection.
#TateWeather 's looking forward to the long weekend ahead. Enjoy the sunshine! ☀️ 🏸 David Inshaw, The Badminton Game 1972–3.
This week is #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek and we’ve teamed up with @TateExchange and @people_united_ to bring you a series of reflections on how we navigate through a tough time and look towards a brighter, kinder, calmer future. ‘We want to invite you to consider the future, as it is likely that we emerge into an entirely altered world and we can’t know yet what is going to happen by the time this has passed. This is an invitation to allow yourself to imagine that the version of the world we get when we come out is up to you. Yes you. Just allow yourself to think that could be true. What kind of world would you like that to be?’ - Bernadette Russell @bernadetterussell People United is an arts charity that uses creativity to encourage empathy and create the conditions for kindness to flourish. Their vision of the future is of a thriving, creative society where people are kinder to themselves, each other and the world. Head over to @TateExchange to find more inspiration, or click the link in our bio to read Bernadette's full article. ☁️ Lisa Milroy, Sky 1997, Tate collection
‘The work of art is a world in itself at the same time as of the world’ 🎈Happy Birthday to Anthony Whishaw, who turns 90 today! The London-based painter was one of the original artists of the Kensington and Chelsea art scene during the 1950s and 60s and is known for his distinctive combination of abstract and figurative elements. In the 1950s he visited Spain often, citing the country as a key influence in both its visual experience and the work of its artists including Goya, Picasso and Velazquez. Whishaw has been living and working in his home and studio in Kensington for over 70 years. He works quietly and diligently, sometimes working on a piece for many years and developing as many as 50 works at the same time. He works from early morning until evening, his only interruption being his daily siesta after lunch, which has remained a ritual since living in Spain. With the artist living alone in lockdown, we'd love to gather as many happy birthday wishes in the comments below that we can share with him, and hopefully lift his spirits on a special day. Find out more about him from our friends @royalacademyarts . 📷 @anthonywhishaw in his studio, 2012, taken by Ann Purkiss.
We've been asking colleagues across each team to take over our feeds by sharing one of their favourite artworks at Tate. This week's work was chosen by Nell Burnham in light of #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek and this year's theme of kindness. 'Carel Weight's 'The Friends' is a tender portrait of a fictional couple, inspired by the artist's visit to a flat in South London in 1968. Living in an LGBTQ+ household in South London myself, this work has always struck a chord. In the world's current context, looking at this painting reminds me that sometimes our darkest or most vulnerable moments can open us up to the love of those around us. While our social media feeds are flooded with the best bits of everyone else's lock down, I wonder how many of our experiences are more accurately captured by Weight's depiction of these two women: pain and compassion existing side by side. Sometimes we can feel powerless in the face of the grief of someone we love, but this painting reminds me that one of the most generous things we can offer one another is a simple reminder that we're not alone. For me, this painting reminds me of the selfless acts and unconditional friendship of a person I am lucky to live with. This Mental Health Awareness Week, I am taking a moment to feel grateful for the unbelievable kindness of those around me.' - Nell Burnham, Tate's Digital Marketing Production Manager Carel Weight, The Friends 1968, chosen by Nell. #KindnessMatters
‘Those of us who aren’t key workers are in an unfamiliar place right now—plucked from our hectic, noisy, filled-to-the-brim days into a locked-down No Man’s Land, with time stretched out before us. But even now, how many of us are trying to fill our days by getting that DIY done or spring cleaning the house? How many of us are feeling like we must have something to show when this crisis is over, like a new skill or a revamped garden? Maybe the skill we all need to learn is how to slow down.’ - Liz Flynn This week is #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek and we’ve teamed up with @TateExchange and @people_united_ to bring you a series of reflections on how we navigate through this tough time with kindness, to ourselves and others. #KindnessMatters People United is an arts charity that uses creativity to encourage empathy and create the conditions for kindness to flourish. Their vision of the future is of a thriving, creative society where people are kinder to themselves, each other and the world. Head over to Tate Exchange to find more inspiration or click the link in our bio to read Liz' full article. Lucien Pissarro, Girl Picking Flowers 1902, Tate collection
#ArtWords : Mail art is a movement based around the idea of sending small scale artworks through the postal service, rather than exhibiting or selling them through traditional channels. ✉️ It can be traced back to early 20th century artists like Kurt Schwitters, surrealist Marcel Duchamp and the Italian futurists. It evolved in the mid-1950s through the work of New York artist Ray Johnson who mailed small collages, prints, abstract drawings and poems to notable people in the art world. This led to him founding the New York Correspondence School which is still active today. Mail art can take a variety of forms including postcards, packages, faxes, emails and blogs and is considered a predecessor to internet art. Have you ever tried sending a small artwork to a friend? 📰 Kurt Schwitters, Opened by Customs, 1937-8
'I’m always trying to find ways of discovering new things about people, and so in the process discover more about myself’ Gillian Wearing is an English conceptual artist, one of the Young British Artists (YBAs ) and winner of the 1997 Turner Prize. She is known for her method of documenting everyday life through photography and video, with a particular interest in the relationship between public image and private identity. She first gained international recognition in 1993 for this series of photographs. Standing in a busy area of South London, she stopped passers by and asked them to write down what was on their mind. The series is composed of over 50 photographs, providing a fascinating social and historical document of the economic decline of the 1990s. One of the best known images shows a smartly dressed young man holding a sign that says ‘I’m desperate’. She described how people were ‘surprised that someone in a suit could actually admit to anything’. These photographs remind us that we often don’t know what other people are thinking and experiencing. During difficult times, let’s do what we can to look after ourselves and each other. #KindnessMatters Gillian Wearing series ‘Signs that Say What You Want Them To Say and Not Signs that Say What Someone Else Wants You To Say, 1992-3: ‘I’m desperate’, 'I like to be in the country’, 'I signed on and they would not give me nothing’.
#WorkoftheWeek is ‘Ocean’ by Vija Celmins. 🌊 This lithograph made from a pencil drawing is typical of the Latvian-American’s work. Throughout the 60s and 70s she developed her meticulous and time-consuming technique, creating photo-realistic drawings of natural environments. They have a reduced palette of grey tones and are usually at an angle, creating a feeling of space and depth. ✏️ For Celmins, the works are more about the process of drawing than a recreation of a photograph. As she says, ‘they came out of loving the blackness of the pencil… I learned a lot about the possibilities of expressiveness of graphite’. They fill the frame, depicting nature at its most impersonal and neutral, rendering the scenes strange in their emptiness but remarkable and fascinating in their texture. Vija Celmins, Ocean, 1975, is one a series of 4 lithographs made by the artist from pencil drawings.