David Hockney Among New Season Of Tate Britain BP Spotlight Displays

David Hockney

Tate Britain opened its new season of BP Spotlights, including David Hockney’s portrait of George Lawson and Wayne Sleep. A recent gift from the artist to Tate’s collection, this is the first time the work has ever been shown in the UK. It hangs alongside two other double-portraits – Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy 1970-1 and My Parents 1977 – which showcase Hockney’s ability to combine psychological intensity with stylistic coolness.

The BP Spotlights are a series of regularly changing free displays at Tate Britain, using works from Tate’s collection and loans to explore particular themes or focus on particular artists. Other new displays include a selection of work by Anwar Shemza and a group of photographs by Jo Spence. These will be followed in November by a gallery exploring the place of alcohol in British culture as seen through art from the 19th century to the present day.

Anwar Shemza

Born in Simla, India in 1928, Anwar Jalal Shemza left an established career as a writer and painter in Pakistan to move to London in 1956. In Britain he abandoned figurative art and developed vigorous compositions that fused calligraphy, Islamic architecture with Western abstraction. Throughout his career Shemza worked in a wide range of media, repeatedly revisiting a number of different subjects, including the walls and gates of Lahore, the Arabic letter ‘Meem’, and plant roots. His last series of work directly related to notions of belonging in the Pakistani diaspora.

12 October 2015 to October 2016

Hockney Double Portraits

This display brings together three of David Hockney’s celebrated double portraits, including George Lawson and Wayne Sleep 1972-5, which was presented to Tate by the artist last year. Hockney made a series of large-scale double portraits between 1968 and 1977, portraying couples or friends in their homes. They convey the artist’s preoccupation with the relationship between people in a style which is both naturalistic and highly formalised.

19 October 2015 to October 2016

Jo Spence: Save This Exhibition

Jo Spence (1934-92) was one of the key photographers in Britain in the 1980s, developing a political practice that engaged with issues of identity and photography’s place in society. This display showcases Spence’s collaborative work with The Hackney Flashers – a socialist-feminist collective from 1974 into the 1980s – and with her long-term collaborator Terry Dennett. It will also explore her experience with cancer and her adoption of photo-therapy.

19 October 2015 to October 2016

Art and Alcohol

Ever since William Hogarth satirised the Georgian craze for gin, artists have explored Britain’s relationship with alcohol, whether as social lubricant or as a factor in social breakdown. This display will centre on a contrast between George Cruikshank’s vast painting Worship of Bacchus 1860-2, which illustrates the dire effects of drink across society, and Gilbert & George’s Drinking Sculpture 1972, a set of progressively blurred photographs of drinkers in London pubs.

16 November 2015 to October 2016


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