Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Tate Britain: Caulfield and Hume

Exhibition: Tate Britain Patrick Caulfield Until Sunday 1 September 2013 Tate Britain presents a survey exhibition of the celebrated British painter, Patrick Caulfield.

Exhibition: Tate Britain Gary Hume Until Sunday 1 September 2013Part of the internationally celebrated group of ‘Young British Artists’ that studied at London’s Goldsmiths College in the late 1980s.


 If you feel like resting your work-weary eyes on big, retina-stretching canvases over the next 7 days, head to Tate Britain. The work of these two artists is being shown in parallel. Patrick Caulfield (mid-1960s generation) illustrates London’s 1960s good life in all its 1960s glory and Gary Hume (1980s generation) shows colourful, graphically novel modifications of the familiar.

One example is Hume’s One Thousand Windows (2013) which greets you as soon as you enter the Tate’s Atterbury Street entrance. Satisfyingly beautiful as a grid always is, it’s not only in the exhibition, but on sale from the Tate Britain shop if you have £150 ready. I couldn’t resist photographing it. Further, inside the shop itself, you will find merchandise from scarves to tee 

shirts along with a 1000 books and postcards.  

Gary Hume One Thousand Windows 2013 Gloss paint, paper and wood, £150, available from Tate Britain shop
For Caulfield, all you need do is walk into room 1 and a painting will come up and grip you by the senses. There in all its primary coloured glory is the fabulous Santa Margherita Ligure (1964), lent from a private collector, a huge (1219 x 2438 mm) landscape depiction of Mediterranean gorgeousness.

The 1960s may have had wireless, but they were not cordless. I love how Caulfield meticulously adds the cord leading to the plug on the wall with every lamp he paints. And we all recognize these 1960’s images: the portable typewriter (with eye-popping red ribbon), the rotary phone, the theatre bar, the tandoori restaurant, the iconic ‘stereophonic record player’ – whether they were our own, or belonged to older (or richer) friends, siblings or parents. It’s a catalogue of the times, a narrative.

To have some idea of the impact of Caulfield overall, check out Tate Britain’s Art & Artists page before you go.

And if you must take a peak at the marvellous Santa Margherita Ligure, here is an image courtesy of the online Art, Culture and History Library Bridgeman Art.

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