There are some stellar loans from the YAGEO foundation that mean we get to see David Hockney’s masterpiece of two men at a swimming pool - one fully clothed looking down at the other swimming underwater, plus striking works by Picasso and Francis Bacon.
The photography is also of an exceptional standard as Andreas Gursky presents a sea of bodies at a mass rave and a view across a Brutalist housing estate that looks too big to be real, alongside Candida Hofer’s capture of a library’s stunning architecture - the people reduced to motion blurs as if insignificant compared to the ornate interior.
In some artists the link between the two mediums is more clear cut – Hiroshi Sugimoto’s black and white seascape that’s half sky, half sea could pass for a Mark Rothko abstract painting. While Andy Warhol was clearly a fan of the silver screen and that’s evident in his placing two stills of Marlon Brando on to an unprimed canvas that would normally be used for painting.
It’s not obvious why paintings by Lucien Freud and Peter Doig are in the show, and at times the curation can be a bit loose when it comes to covering the theme of the crossover between painting and photography. However, this is easily forgiven on realising that Tate had access to great pieces from an impressive collection and to leave them out would have denied us all a chance to see these fantastic works.
Familiar names abound but we did come across some impressive new finds including Miriam Cahn’s haunting painting of two ghostly figures underwater that appear to be drowning and Jana Euler’s underside of a shark that shows it as vulnerable - in opposition to the fearsome way they’re often portrayed.
The narrative thread that runs throughout this exhibition is imperfect at best, but when there’s so many brilliant works in one show does anybody really care? In this comparison between painting and photography, the winner is us the viewers.
Second image: © Tate (Jai Monaghan)
Third image: © Peter Doig. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2023
|What||Capturing the Moment, Tate Modern, review|
|Where||Tate Modern, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Southwark (underground)|
13 Jun 23 – 28 Jan 24, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
|Website||Click here for more information and to book|