With his quick painting, lingering on people, with its rough cuts of light which transmit the beauty and ugliness of the human soul onto the canvas, the master of self-invention and theatricality Walter Sickert comes to the Tate Britain for the largest retrospective in London ever dedicated to him in the last thirty years. With his radically modern approach to painting between the end of the XIX and the start of the XX Century, the founder of the Camden Town group, fascinated by impressionism and the sketchy night spots he himself frequented, he revolutionised the way of capturing daily life on the canvas. A journey through 150 works, belonging to over 70 public and private collections, accompany the guests of the Tate through turbulent scenes in music halls, in the presence of subjective narratives and revolutionary nudes. Leafing through the sixty years of Sickert’s career, visitors can discover places and people that inspired the English painter, exploring the legacy of one of Britain’s most provocative and influential artists. Among the highlights of the exhibition are ten iconic portraits by Sickert, created from the start of his career up to his final years, reunited for the first time from collections in the United Kingdom and from institutions like the National Portrait Gallery of London and the Art Gallery of Hamilton in Canada. The exhibition invites you to leap into the music halls, among the gazes of the artists and the public, often from odd and spectacular angles, evoking the energy of the nightlife of the working class. The exhibition doesn’t ignore the impact thatthe American artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler had on Sickert either, showing a comparison between A Shop (1884-1890) by Whistler and A Shop in Dieppe (1886-1888) by Sickert, or the portrait of Sickert himself of Whistler from 1895. Admired in France, but banned in Great Britain for their so-called immorality, given the bodies portrayed far from ideal and the voyeuristic points of view, the nudes of Sickert, inspired by artists like Bonnard and Degas, paved the way for painters like Lucian Freud.
Cartoon masterpieces meet the objects that inspired them in an exhibition full of surprises.