Art galleries in UK: #TateBritain, #TateModern, @tateliverpool & @tatestives. We aim to increase everyone's enjoyment and understanding of art.


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#ArtWords: 'Decadence' refers to an extreme use of symbolism which appeared in the late 19th century, emphasising the spiritual, the morbid and the erotic. In art it can be seen as a key influence on the work of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, Aubrey Beardsley and Simeon Solomon.
Aubrey Beardsley, Messalina and her Companion 1895, Tate collection



Yayoi Kusama's The Passing Winter 2005 is a sculpture of a cube positioned on two panes of glass, which are arranged to form an x-shaped pedestal. The cube’s interior and exterior is lined with mirrors, and its sides each contain three circular holes of different sizes. Viewers are invited to look through these holes and in doing so can see the circular shapes that are cut into the cube’s walls reflected infinitely across its mirror-lined interior. This gives the impression of an indefinite, ever-receding space in which the reflected circles seem to float.
The title 'The passing winter’ could be understood as a reference to the often snow-like appearance of the floating dots or the flashes of light produced when light catches the mirrors’ surfaces. Furthermore, the notion of a passing season could reflect the transient nature of the artwork itself, which takes on new and constantly shifting appearances depending on the time of day, the position of the viewer and the room in which it is exhibited.

Polka dots are a very common motif in Kusama’s practice. Since the 1950s she has used them in many works across different media, including paintings, prints, drawings, performances and installations. Kusama's most frequent explanation is that the dots have a kind of cosmological significance for her. In 1965 she said: ‘Our earth is only one polka dot among a million stars in the cosmos. Polka dots are a way to infinity. When we obliterate nature and our bodies with polka dots, we become part of the unity of our environment.’
See The Passing Winter on free display at Tate Modern in 'Between Object and Architecture' on level 2.



#WorkoftheWeek is Edward Wolfe's painting of a Police Constable from 1927.

Wolfe recalled in an interview in September 1981 that the portrait was painted in his studio in Grosvenor Road, Pimlico (around the corner from Tate Britain). He first met the policeman while he was trying to break into his own studio, having forgotten his keys, and they remained friends for some years.



Have you handmade any cards this year? 🌲💌📮
Here's a handmade Christmas card sent from Paul (1889–1946) and Margaret Nash (1887–1960) to Eileen Agar (1899–1991). The message inside reads 'With all Good Wishes for Christmas and the New Year' signed 'from Margaret and Paul'. Agar left the card to Tate Archive in August 1987.



'Colour is a power which directly influences the soul. Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammer, the soul is the strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul' - Wassily Kandinsky

Kandinsky was born #onthisday in 1866 (by the Gregorian calendar), to musical parents Lidia Ticheeva and Vasily Silvestrovich Kandinsky, a tea merchant.

#WassilyKandinsky, Lake Starnberg 1908 — Lake Starnberg is close to Munich, where Kandinsky lived from 1896, gradually establishing himself as an artist.



Do you still post handwritten letters? ✉️
Charles Ginner, Snow in Pimlico 1939, Tate collection



American photographer #RobertMapplethorpe is known for a vast, provocative and powerful portfolio which has established him as one of the most important artists of the twentieth century.
Open today at @theatkinsonsouthport is an @artistrooms exhibition of the artist's most iconic portraits, including of his close friend and artist @thisispattismith and fellow artists Andy Warhol and David Hockney. Free entry.



The Christmas countdown begins! Unwrap a world of art with unlimited free entry to all exhibitions in all four Tate galleries. From Edward Burne-Jones and Vincent van Gogh to Dorothea Tanning and Olafur Eliasson, there is always something new to discover.
Next day delivery on gift membership is available until noon 21 December. Click the link in bio to order your gift today! 🎁

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Love among the Ruins 1870-1873, Private Collection, currently on display in Tate Britain’s major exhibition of the artist’s work



This is Sir Stanley Spencer’s final self-portrait and one of his last paintings. The work is remarkable for the unflinching scrutiny of the artist’s gaze, and his meticulous close-up detail.

Although seriously ill, he finished this painting in five days, five months before his death on 14 December 1959. Find Spencer's Self-Portrait in Walk Through British Art: 1950 at Tate Britain.



'We interpret the world through stories... everybody makes in their own way sense of things, but if you have stories it helps.' - Paula Rego

Paula Rego, The Dance 1988, on loan to Musée de l’Orangerie (Paris, France)



Have you seen Tate Britain's #MonsterSlugs?

Artist Monster Chetwynd was inspired by a #DavidAttenborough documentary that revealed the glowing mating ritual of leopard slugs. Chetwynd wants to remind us that the darkness of winter could be a time of renewal & rebirth. 🐌🐌
Visit the slugs during Saturday's free Winter Fair for the perfect festive day out. There will be pop-up stalls, food, craft makers, live music and more.



#ArtWords: Decalcomania (from the French décalcomanie) is a blotting process whereby paint is squeezed between two surfaces to create a mirror image. Today, the shortened version is "decal."
These works were made by Cornelia Parker in 1996, as part of a series entitled 'Pornographic Drawings 1995–2006'; each delicate image presents a symmetrical and organic composition in tones of grey and black. The works were made by dissolving pornographic video tapes in solvent and dropping the ferric oxide ink onto paper, before folding. Although body parts are suggestive, the shapes occurred by chance. ‘I selected this particular set because I felt that they worked as pornographic drawings... but of course they’re very innocent. A child could look at them and see something quite benign.' - Cornelia Parker