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TATE ETC Issue 29

A celebration of the reopening of Tate Britain; including contributions from Liadin Cooke, Susan Hiller, Ed Atkins, Spartacus Chetwynd, Frank Bowling, Carmen Herrera and Haroon Mirza, Nicholas Fox-Weber on Paul Klee, James Atlee on Aquatopia: The Imaginary of the Ocean Deep, Jonathan Griffin on Art Under Attack, Tanya Barson and Fernanda Gomes on Mira Schendel, Hari Kunzru on Art Turning Left at Tate Liverpool and philosopher Alain de Botton, taking inspiration from the Tate collection, discusses art as therapy.

TATE ETC Issue 29To celebrate the reopening of Tate Britain this autumn, Tate Etc. invited 24 celebrated artists from around the world to write about a work by a British artist currently on display. Introduced by the director of Tate Britain, Penelope Curtis, the fantastically varied responses reflect the rich connections and affinities that contemporary artists have with those they admire.

The diverse works of one of the most inventive and best-loved artists of the twentieth century, often done in series, are brought together for The EY Exhibition—Paul Klee: Making Visible, the artist’s first large-scale exhibiton in the UK in more than ten years. At the heart of Paul Klee‘s practice were the ideas and energies that emerged during his teaching at the Bauhaus alongside Josef and Anni Albers, as friend and author Nicolas Fox-Weber recounts.

Ninety per cent of the world’s oceans remain unexplored, fuelling our fascination for and fear of the sea for centuries. James Attlee gazes into the watery abyss to introduce Aquatopia: The Imaginary of the Ocean Deep, a trans-historical voyage of the oceanic imaginary through the eyes of a fabulously diverse range of artists, including JMW Turner, Odilon Redon, Hokusai, William Wyllie, John Bellany, The Otolith Group and Steven Claydon.

As a forthcoming exhibition at Tate Britain reveals, iconoclasm has taken many turns throughout the centuries in the United Kingdom, from savage destruction during the Reformation to more recent actions by contemporary artists. Writer and curator Jonathan Griffin explores Art Under Attack: Histories of British Iconoclasm.

Mira Schendel (1919–1988) was one of Latin America’s most important post-war artists, who reinvented the language of European modernism in Brazil. The curator of the first international survey of her work, Tanya Barson, explores how Schendel’s complex and varied art was heavily influenced by her reading of and connection with leading philosophers. Fellow Brazilian artist Fernanda Gomez also pays tribute.

From William Morris‘s emphasis on hand-production values to the anonymously designed Atelier Populaire posters of 1968, artists’ left-wing political views have variously influenced the making of art and visual culture. To coincide with Tate Liverpool’s ground-breaking exhibition Art Turning Left: How Values Changed Making—the first to explore the impact of the Left on the production and reception of art from the French Revolutuon to the present day—writer Hari Kunzru charts the rich mix of artist voices and ideas across the centuries.

We often have high expectations when we visit a museum of having great experiences with the art we see, but are we approaching it in the wrong way? And do museums give us the right information to guide us on our journey? Taking four works in the Tate Britain collection as a starting point, writer and philosopher Alain de Botton argues that the therapeutic nature of art can ‘rebalance our characters, recover calm, rediscover hope, expand our capabilities for empathy and help us to learn to appreciate the everyday.’

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