Tracey Emin and William Blake at Tate until Sept 3rd ’17
You either like Tracey Emin’s art or not. But, whatever you think she can get the attention and the Tate Liverpool certainly uses this to draw in the crowds to view some of the lesser known art of William Blake as well.
We have all googled her 1998 work ‘My Bed’ and the crowds that visited the new exhibition at the Tate Liverpool stood in awe over and around the bed……some overheard to say things like ‘She makes my bed look tidy’, ‘Is that a bottle of vodka’ It’s not had a wash…..
For a messy bed, security means you can’t even have a good old nosey up close but on closer observation you can catch a glimpse of some very naughty pictures obviously dashed in minimalistic paint-off with curvy scrawls of bottoms and shoulders all strewn about the base of the bed.
This, in contrast shows off the master Blake’s skilful artistic works associated with Tracey’s display, a display of dual artistic talent commissioned at Tracey’s suggestion.
The Tate literature in my mind tries to connect the works of Tracey with Blake, but have I must have missed something. The guide book says that his works (and you can see this) are ‘presented in the context of Tracey’s empty bed which is symbolising the absent figure’. Well blow me down but practically all the Blake works on display feature human and fantasy figures, front and centre. Oh! and it goes on to say that the artists also show a shared concern with spirituality, birth and death……Well on many a visit to ‘art land’ I can certainly read that into many a painting.
Anyway, viewing these artists in focus, is first division art which creates and stirs up all sorts of emotive reaction and they both deserve the attention.
Blake draws you into his world on close observation in the same way that Tracey does with her works ie My Bed.
In this exhibition from both artists, you begin to look behind the curtain, analyse a face, a position, a setting which tells a story and so you begin to think, why are these artists maybe or maybe not such strange bedfellows.
From Blake’s works being very ‘heavy metal’ album covers in my mind, and opened new doors that gave me more of an understanding of his talent and skill to create moods, magnificent and bleak, as in….The House of Death, where the stripped bodies, in dark, apocalyptic, weird greys and slimy pink colours, with blood sun and shady greens all gave a horrifyingly corpse-like view to his Biblical-like scenes.
View Emin’s work with this in mind and you may fully understand what I mean by strange ‘bedfellows’. This exhibition is well worth viewing but do have a drink, and venture with friends and use the occasion to verbally fulfil your artistic take on Tracey Emin And William Blake In Focus until Sept 3rd 2017. Make the connection this weekend.