Tate Modern unveils a major exhibition of the work of pioneering artist Dorothea Tanning (1910-2012). Organised in collaboration with the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, it is the first large-scale exhibition of her work for 25 years and the first ever to span Tanning’s remarkable seven-decade career. Bringing together some 100 works from across the globe, over a third of which are shown in the UK for the first time, the exhibition explores how she expanded the language of surrealism. From her early enigmatic paintings, to her ballet designs, uncanny stuffed textile sculptures, installations and large- scale late works, it offers a rare opportunity to experience the artist’s unique internal world.
Born in Poland and based in London, Piotrowska has an interest in domestic spaces and man-made environments. For one series of works she asked people in Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro, Warsaw and London to build makeshift shelters in their homes and gardens, subverting childhood play. Other works present gestures and movements from self-defence manuals, implying violence against women as well as their empowerment. Her photographs and films relate to self-protection, psychophysical relationships and the power dynamics underlying how we relate to each other. Her work was included in Being: New Photography 2018, MoMA, New York and 10th Biennale Berlin, 2018, Germany and forthcoming projects include a solo show at Kunsthalle Basel in the autumn 2019.
This is the first large-scale exhibition of Dorothea Tanning’s work for 25 years. It brings together 100 works from her seven-decade career – from enigmatic paintings to uncanny sculptures. Tanning wanted to depict ‘unknown but knowable states’: to suggest there was more to life than meets the eye. She first encountered surrealism in New York in the 1930s. In the 1940s, her powerful self-portrait Birthday 1942 attracted the attention of fellow artist Max Ernst – they married in 1946. Her work from this time combines the familiar with the strange, exploring desire and sexuality. From the 1950s, now working in Paris, Tanning’s paintings became more abstract, and in the 1960s she started making pioneering sculptures out of fabric. A highlight of the exhibition is the room-sized installation Chambre 202, Hotel du Pavot 1970-3. This sensual and eerie work features bodies growing out the walls of an imaginary hotel room. In later life, Tanning dedicated more of her time to writing. Her last collection of poems, Coming to That, was published at the age of 101.
This display marks the bicentenary of the birth of George Eliot (1819–80), one of Britain’s most renowned novelists. Born Mary Anne Evans on 22 November 1819, she embarked on her career at the relatively mature age of thirty-two, initially working for the radical London periodical, the Westminster Review. In 1859, her first novel, Adam Bede, was published to critical acclaim and she went on to write six further titles, including The Mill on the Floss(1860) and Middlemarch (1871–2), celebrated for their realism and insights into the messy complexity of human relationships. Evans adopted the pseudonym ‘George Eliot’ to retain her anonymity. Since 1853, she had been romantically involved with a married man, the writer George Henry Lewes; although separated from his wife, their relationship was regarded as improper. Eliot also had concerns about her physical appearance, as her face had been described as ‘long’, ‘pale’ and horse-like. A pen-name could avoid drawing attention to both her awkward social position and unconventional looks, and allow her novels to be judged on their own merits. Eliot’s efforts to keep a low public profile extended to the visual image, this display’s central theme. At a time when the trade in popular portraits of celebrities was flourishing, she was […]
Continuing a series of thematic explorations of the Collection, this display draws together historic and contemporary portraits that record and affirm the bonds of friendship. Featuring a diverse range of works, including photographs of Morecambe and Wise and Elizabeth Taylor with David Bowie, the portraits share a sense of the pleasure, comfort or stimulation experienced in the company of friends. Alongside recently acquired photographs, including George Harrison with Ravi Shankar, is the earliest known oil self-portrait produced in England, Gerlach Flicke’s double portrait with the pirate Henry Strangwish, which was painted in 1554 when the pair were imprisoned in the Tower of London.
William Shakespeare’s history plays have shaped perceptions of the Plantagenet kings for centuries, with a cast of characters ranging from the flawed Richard II to the heroic Henry V. The plays were not created in isolation, but drew extensively on the historical accounts that were published in the sixteenth century to justify and celebrate the position of the Tudor dynasty, fuelling an interest in English history that also encouraged the production of posthumous portraits. This small display examines the Tudor construction of Plantagenet portraits and their legacy in the popular imagination.
How can a building shape our perception of events – and how can architecture, rather than words, be used to tell stories? Discover new monuments and memorials by celebrated British-Ghanaian architect, Sir David Adjaye OBE. Get a first peek at ongoing work and explore the influences behind the highly acclaimed Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. and more. Find out more about all seven projects here
Designer Maker User is an introduction to the museum’s collection, looking at the development of modern design through these three interconnected roles.
Discover the top ten product ideas created by students aged 13-16 for the Design Museum’s national schools’ competition, Design Ventura.
This exhibition showcases some of the most impactful photographs captured over the last 60 years. It includes many of his iconic war photographs – including images from Vietnam, Northern Ireland and more recently Syria. But it also focuses on the work he did at home in England, recording scenes of poverty and working class life in London’s East End and the industrial north, as well as meditative landscapes of his beloved Somerset, where he lives. Sir Don McCullin was born in 1935 and grew up in a deprived area of north London. He got his first break when a newspaper published his photograph of friends who were in a local gang. From the 1960s he forged a career as probably the UK’s foremost war photographer, primarily working for the Sunday Times Magazine. His unforgettable and sometimes harrowing images are accompanied in the show with his brutally honest commentaries. With over 250 photographs, all printed by McCullin himself in his own darkroom, this exhibition will be a unique opportunity to appreciate the scope and achievements of his entire career.
Franz West (1947–2012) brought a punk aesthetic into the pristine spaces of art galleries. His abstract sculptures, furniture, collages and large-scale works are direct, crude and unpretentious. Visitors to this major retrospective will be able to handle replicas of his Passstücke (Adaptives) – papier-mâché pieces made to be picked up and moved. They were a turning point in the relationship between art and its audience. He also created playful sculptures incorporating objects from everyday life such as a hat, a broom, or even a whisky bottle. In his final years he produced large, brightly coloured and absurd sculptures both for galleries and public spaces. Born and based in Vienna, West collaborated with numerous artists, musicians, writers and photographers. He has been a vast influence on younger artists – his friend and collaborator Sarah Lucas has contributed to design of the exhibition.