The London art scene is waiting impatiently for the, so-called, ‘new’ Tate Britain. As you may have noticed if you have been to the gallery lately, it is refurbishing and getting ready for the opening of the exhibition ‘A Walk Through British Art’ in May, an exhibition where all their brilliant art will be presented in a new chronological re-arrange. First step in the process was revealed this week when the gallery opened its landscape display ‘Looking at the View’. Tate’s new approach on classic art seems to be getting new and old art together to show how – in this sense – landscape painting and photography have changed over time by presenting Turner’s abstract seaside’s next too modern photography. The key word of the exhibition title seems to be ‘looking’, as there is no organized route to walk or labels to read, it is, funnily enough, all about looking. Like Mark Brown in The Guardian put it ‘It is something of a first: Tracey Emin paired with the 18th-century artist Joseph Wright of Derby’.
Penelope Curtis, Tate Britain’s director, said that she wanted the collection to look like one, and not two, collections and that she thought the re-hang would give people a new experience with already familiar art pieces. I think she has a point, but at the same time, I am myself very, let’s say non-radical, when it comes to my art and I am a little scared of what seeing Gainsborough and Tillman on the same wall might do to me. When that is said, I am up for an experience, but the question is if this is something that is going to last or if people will find it annoyingly unorganized after the third walk around the gallery.
I am not going to lie; I am intrigued by the idea and especially by the fact that William Turner, William Blake and Henry Moore – no doubt three outstanding artists – have their own focus rooms. Turner has already been the pride and joy of Tate Britain for years, and I think its audience will appreciate the keeping of a room where you can have a ‘clean’ escape into Turner’s world without any interrupting elements.
So, Tate Britain, bring it on. I am excited to see more.
The rest of the exhibition opens 14.May.2013