'I'm interested in poetry. And in my work it's very much a sort of poetic quest for a language to express experiences which are part of the everyday experience of people like myself.' - Isaac Julien
Meet award winning filmmaker and installation artist Isaac Julien, CBE, through three key works across his career (watch full film via our bio link). Julien rose to prominence with his 1989 film 'Looking for Langston', a poetic documentary and homage to Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes — one of the most important poets writing at that time. The work was very much an artistic statement around black gay desire and looked to transgress the way individuals were being viewed and seen. Looking for Langston is on free display at Tate Britain until November 2019.
Their glimmering surfaces are layered with materials from acrylic gel and acrylic paint, to oil paint, damar (a resin from trees used to make varnish), beeswax, chalk, and metallic pigments (nickel, silver, gold, rich pale gold, and pearlessence). This is why his works appear to shine. ✨ @FrankBowlingRA is interested in paint as 'organic matter, pliable and beautiful'. The surface of this work, ‘Spreadout Ron Kitaj’ is embedded with acrylic foam, shredded plastic, Christmas glitter, costume jewellery, plastic toys and oyster shells. He describes his mountainous paintings as 'more land than landscape.' See them up close in the artist's major retrospective at Tate Britain, until 26 August 2019. More in today's story!
#WorkoftheWeek is Fiona Rae's candy-coloured canvas, painted in 2017. 🍭 Dotted lines and arrows move about the painting, drawing our attention to the light, airy spaces in between. The painting presents us with a sense of hope and a feeling of calm — perfect for a Monday morning.
Over a career of nearly fifty years, Lebanese artist #HuguetteCaland has made work that reflects a life lived outside of convention. Her erotically-charged paintings show an intense curiosity around the human form. Folds, crevices and curves of bodies are often magnified to fill the frame, joyously occupying that space with their flesh. Many of her works take her own body as a point of influence. She transforms its shape into drawings of landscapes and abstract forms. At a time when the prevailing fashion was to be tall and thin, such an approach liberated depictions of the female physique.
Seen together at @tatestives her paintings, drawings, sculptures and textiles express the pursuit of exuberance and joy that has characterised much of Caland’s art and life: ‘l love every minute of my life... I squeeze it like an orange and eat the peel, because I don’t want to miss a thing.’ 🍊🍊🍊 Huguette Caland Untitled 1971, Courtesy of Huguette Caland
Sunday Morning 1871 by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema 🖌️☀️ Alma-Tadema's work was influenced by 17th century Dutch artists, whose paintings were characterised by a sensitivity to natural light and a skill in painting detail. See this work on free display at Tate Britain.
TONIGHT! 24 dancers take to Tate Modern's Turbine Hall for an explosive performance of Boris Charmatz's major choreographic work, 10000 Gestures. The ephemeral piece is composed of the literal 10,000 gestures of its title, performed in a blizzard of rapid movements. 'I envision a choreographic forest in which no dancer ever repeats any of the gestures, each of which will be shown only once and will vanish as soon as it has been executed, like an ode to the impermanence of dance.' - Charmatz
We'll be live on Instagram from 8pm to capture some of the action. 📷📷 Dancers photographed here by BrothertonLock.
71 years ago today, the ship HMT Empire #Windrush arrived in London. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Now on display at Tate Modern, Yinka Shonibare's 'The British Library' celebrates the diversity of the British population. The library highlights the contributions made to British culture by first and second generation immigrants from around the world, including those of the #WindrushGeneration. Names of first or second-generation immigrants to Britain are printed in gold leaf on 2,700 of the books. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ You can add your story or read others by clicking our bio link.
'I grew up in my mother’s country and moved, once adult, to my father’s country. Since the day I was born, I’ve heard the blend of both their languages, batted back and forth. Learning to talk, I didn’t always recognise which words belonged to which and weaved them together, making my own new language. I added words from other dialects that I’ve sought out, creating an animated, comforting cacophony. This same cacophony speaks to me from Babel. Cildo Meireles’ work may feel busy and disorientating to some, but to me it feels familiar. Every time I step into its blue shadow, it feels like home.' - Gabrielle Young, works in Tate's Tech department.
Walk through Tate Modern online or in gallery as Tate staff reflect on what it means to migrate. Link in bio.
In September 1975 Ibrahim El-Salahi, who worked in Sudan’s Ministry of Culture, was arrested. He was falsely accused of plotting against the government of the military dictator Gaafar Nimeiry, and imprisoned for six months. After his release he was forced to leave Sudan. He moved to Qatar, and eventually to Britain. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 'Today we seem to drift endlessly, driven by impulses and whims, within unstable circumstances that constantly change’, he reflected in 2013. ‘I see no glimpse of hope in this ordeal but to return to the centre of authenticity within each one of us, artist or not, each according to his or her potentials and capabilities. Only by persistently following that course can we gradually steer humanity, against all odds, back to its original freshness and youth.’ Today on #WorldRefugeeDay, we’re working with @IRCEurope to highlight artists who fled conflict or persecution. We stand by the artists affected by such experiences. Their works are a small part of what we stand to lose if refugees lose our support. Read more or share your support by clicking our bio link. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Ibrahim El-Salah, Reborn Sounds of Childhood Dreams I 1961–5, spotlighted at Tate Modern.
To mark #WorldRefugeeDay, we’re working with @irceurope to highlight artists across our four galleries who fled conflict or persecution.
Increasingly under threat as a Russian of Jewish descent in Nazi Germany, Naum Gabo left Berlin for Paris in 1932. Although a member of the international artists group ‘Abstraction-Création’ he struggled to find patrons and relocated to London in 1936. This piece marked the first time Gabo combined man–made with natural materials to explore hidden forces of nature. 🍃 The sweeping plastic collar was made at the moment when scientific research was suggesting the nature of space was curved. Gabo’s constructions have had a great impact on British artists, notably Peter Lanyon, John Wells and Margaret Mellis who were working in St Ives.
Naum Gabo, Construction: Stone with a Collar 1933, highlighted today @tatestives.