Tate Announces Blockbuster Line-up For 2018 But is It Too Safe?

Tate 2018 Line-Up

Tate has announced its 2018 programme which covers all four venues. The forthcoming shows include exhibitions of work by ground-breaking figures in painting, performance, textiles, film and photography. A major show of figurative painting by, among others, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, R.B. Kitaj and Paula Rego, will be presented at Tate Britain. A retrospective of the Pre-Raphaelite Edward Burne-Jones is also on offer. Joining Picasso at Tate Modern will be the work of two pioneering women: leading performance and video artist Joan Jonas, and one of the world’s most important exponents of textiles in art, Anni Albers. Two further giants of the 20th century will go on display at Tate Liverpool as part of the gallery’s 30th-anniversary celebrations: Egon Schiele and Fernand Léger. In St Ives, the newly-opened spaces will be filled with work by Patrick Heron and a group show of women artists explored through the lens of the life and writings of Virginia Woolf.

Tate Modern continues to champion female artists

London’s first comprehensive retrospective of Edward Burne-Jones’s work for over forty years will be shown at Tate Britain. Burne-Jones was the last, and arguably the most romantic, of the Pre-Raphaelites, and he became one of the leading figures of the European fin de siècle and a pioneer of the symbolist movement. This exhibition will showcase 150 of his works in a wide range of media including painting, stained glass and tapestry.

Focusing on modern figurative painting from the second half of the 20th century, with Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon at its heart, Tate Britain will also examine how artists in Britain captured the intense experience of life in paint. The exhibition, All Too Human, will include works from the School of London artists such as Frank Auerbach and R.B. Kitaj and the figurative work of Paula Rego and F.N. Souza, among others.

As well as The EY Exhibition: Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy, announced earlier in the year, Tate Modern will stage exhibitions of two stellar female artists: Joan Jonas, an outstanding pioneer of video and performance and one of the most influential artists to emerge in the late 1960s and early 1970s; and Anni Albers, the Bauhaus artist who championed the medium of textiles. Joan Jonas will be presented in an innovative piece of programming: as well as in an exhibition, her work will be shown beyond the gallery space in the Tanks and in the Starr Cinema with an extensive film programme. A new, large-scale work will be unveiled. As part of the second BMW Tate Live Exhibition, some of her most celebrated performances will be re-staged for the first time and there will also be performances and concerts by some of the many international artists with whom she has collaborated over her career.

Tate Modern will also present the first major museum exhibition in the UK this century of the work of Anni Albers one of the world’s leading textile artists and a significant figure at the Bauhaus. This influential but under-appreciated figure will have her contribution to modern art and design affirmed in this full-scale retrospective. Beautiful, small-scale creations, as well as large wall hangings, will be brought together with many of the works in which she explored new technologies and synthetic fibres.

Tate Liverpool marks its 30th anniversary in 2018 with exhibitions of work by two giants of modern art: Egon Schiele and Fernand Léger. The public will be able to see rarely-exhibited drawings by the much-loved Viennese artist Schiele in an exhibition to mark the centenary year of his death. Léger, a key figure of international modernity regarded as a forerunner of pop art, will have a retrospective of more than 50 works, many rarely seen in the UK. As well as iconic paintings, the show will include important films such as Ballet Mécanique 1924. Léger will be paired with a significant exhibition of paintings by the Iraqi artist Dia Al-Azzawi. Ten years on from Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture year, Tate Liverpool will be a cornerstone of the city’s anniversary celebrations. The gallery will also play a central role in the tenth edition of the Liverpool Biennial.

There are important group exhibitions in the 2018 calendar too. Into the Light at Tate Modern, sponsored by Hyundai Card, will provide the first opportunity to closely explore the relationship between abstract art and photography. From the 1910s to the present, images by Paul Strand, László Moholy-Nagy, Man Ray, Barbara Kasten and Thomas Ruff will be shown alongside abstract paintings, sculptures and installations by artists from Georges Braque to Bridget Riley. At Tate Britain, a group exhibition to mark the centenary of the First World War, Aftermath, will explore the immediate impact of the conflict on British, German and French art and reveal its importance in the development of Dada and Surrealism.

The new Tate St Ives opens on 14 October 2017 when it will double its display space. Its 2018 programme, announced earlier this year, includes a retrospective of celebrated painter Patrick Heron, the first major show of his work for twenty years; and an exhibition of work by 35 women artists explored through the prism of the life and writings of Virginia Woolf.

Tate’s contemporary programme will include Turner Prize 2018 and the ongoing Art Now series at Tate Britain alongside the Tate Britain Commission for the Duveen galleries; and the site-specific Hyundai Commission for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, in partnership with Hyundai Motor.


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