The Tate Britain has announced a major Van Gogh (1853-1890) exhibition in Spring 2019. The exhibition, Van Gogh and Britain will look at the artist’s visit to London from 1873-1876 and his influence on British art throughout the twentieth century. The exhibition will display around 40 paintings from public and private collections including Starry Night on the Rhône, 1888, from the Musee D’Orsay and L’Arlésienne, 1890, from the Museu De Arte De São Paulo, as well as The National Gallery’s Sunflowers, 1888. With its London emphasis the exhibition will include some early less well known works with their limited palette revealing the versatility of the young artist and late works painted while the artist was at the Asylum Saint-Paul returning to earlier themes.
L’Arlésienne, 1890, Vincent Van Gogh, Musee D’Orsay, Paris
Alex Farquharson, Director, Tate Britain :
“Vincent van Gogh is without a doubt one of the greatest and most influential artists of all time. His stay in Britain changed his vision of the world and himself, encouraging him to become an artist. This is an exciting opportunity for us to reveal the impact Britain had on Van Gogh as well as the enormous influence he had on British artists. Tate’s last Van Gogh exhibition was in 1947 and introduced his work to a whole generation of artists working in Britain. We’re thrilled to be welcoming so many important and ground breaking paintings to the gallery.”
Tapestry must be one of the most intimate of all art forms and Hannah Ryggen, one of its most intimate of exponents. Born in Malmo in 1894 she settled into subsistence farming in Norway with her painter husband, Hans. Although trained as a painter in oils she turned to tapestry becoming closer to the rural farming class. From these earthly roots and reading of Dagbladet , the culturally radical journal, she produced works to represent some of the most profound events of the twentieth century.
6th October 1942 (1943), Hannah Rhyggen
Her works are currently on display at the Oxford Museum of Modern Art.* The show opens with a triptych narrative of her farming life, We and our Animals (1934), appearing three times feeding their hens, cattle and in a domestic setting. The pace quickens with the brilliant anti-fascist Ethiopia (1937) shown at the same World Fair alongside Picasso’s Guernica in 1937; her depiction of, the speared, Mussolini was censored out. The exhibition has two highly critical tapestries of Norway’s Second World War position and objections to its role in nuclear armament and NATO, the anti Nazi 6th October 1942 (1943) and Jul Kvale (1956). There are more powerful statements on nuclear war and a very clever attack on the USA’s involvement in Vietnam depicting Lyndon Johnson’s casual cruelty to his pet dog.
Ethiopia (1937), Hannah Rhyggen
Interspersed with her political comment are some beautiful works of a more personal flavour. She appears in A Free One (1948), a statement of the eniquity of wealth and poverty, and one of her late works, Fishing in a sea of debt (1956). Her themes of personal love are coloured with rich reds, where in her words ‘she lets loose with explosive effect’.
Mothers World (1947) Hanna Rhyggen
What gives Ryggen’s tapestry’s such intimate power is her involvement with the whole process from spinning the yarn from local wool, dyeing with colour from the immediate countryside and manufacture on a hand made loom in her farmhouse kitchen. The exhibition is completed with a very personal 30 minute film with Ryggen explaining her philosophy and describing various tapestries.
*Unfortunately the exhibition closes at Oxford on Sunday.