To cap off a creative/cultural weekend (and to balance the opulence of brunch and tour of The Ned), I went to see the exhibition Queer British Art 1861-1967 at Tate Britain. This exhibition covered a range of genres of art – paintings, sculpture, photography, literature, and film. As the write-up states:
Featuring works from 1861–1967 relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) identities, the show marks the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England. Queer British Art explores how artists expressed themselves in a time when established assumptions about gender and sexuality were being questioned and transformed.
What I liked about this exhibition was the range of work and covered and the fact that I was introduced to new artists across the genres. So although only 4-5 photographs by John Deakin were shown, they were powerful portraits that made me want to see more of his work. The work from Angus McBean was also intriguing and reminded me very much of the work of Horst P. Horst (they were contemporaries). Both these photographers worked in black and white (in terms of what was exhibited) and what I could find on the internet. So I was drawn to the use of light and shadow in their work. The other photographer was Lewis Morley who is known for his portrait of Christine Keeler. What may be less known is his recreation of that pose with Joe Orton.
© John Deakin
These ‘Angus McBean’ pictures were sourced from the internet but I could not find the ones used in the exhibition.
© Angus McBean
© Lewis Morley
In terms of painting, I really liked the work of Duncan Grant and my favourite picture was the one below. Unlike David Hockney, I was drawn to the use of perspective in his painting, even though you could argue it suffers from the same lack of depth as Hockney’s work. There is a subtle use of colour – clearly less vibrant that Hockney’s work, but for me much more interesting.
© Duncan Grant
The other artist to catch my eye was Glyn Warren Philpot. His flight from Egypt painting is just surreal….
Overall, I found this an enjoyable exhibition and one I would recommend.