Light: Works from Tate’s Collection opened to public at the Museum of Art Pudong on 8 July, 2021. The exhibition explores how international artists create with light in different forms. The exhibition begins with the 18th century British masterpieces and extends to the present, with artists from around the world. The theme of light is reflected through the prism of art in countless ways: from the sublime to the intimate, from the spiritual to the scientific. The challenge of capturing the light, whether in painting, sculpture or immersive installation, has led artists to develop distinctive techniques. The exhibition is roughly chronological, but also juxtaposes works from different historical periods, outlining their connections beyond time.
MAP and Tate have released a bilingual publication, Light: Works from Tate’s Collection, which features a long essay The Colours of Light by Kerryn Greenberg, former Head of International Collection Exhibitions at Tate, as well as high resolution images and descriptions of all the works from the exhibition. The seven chapters – Spiritual and Sublime Light, Natural Light, Interior Light, Light Effects, Colour and Light, Reconfiguring Light, and Expansive Light – illustrate the artists' perception, depiction, and manipulation of light since the 18th century.
The book analyses English painter J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851)’s mastery of colour and how his interest in transient light influenced a generation of French impressionists such as Claude Monet (1840-1926) and Alfred Sisley (1839-1899). The book then focuses on how photographers used light itself as a medium to create abstract photographs that were closer to a state of motion than still images. In 1960s, Dan Flavin (1933-1996), James Turrell (1943 -), Lis Rhodes (1942-) and others used artificial light to create new forms of sculptures and immersive installations that transformed the viewer to participant. Today, artists such as Olafur Eliasson (1967-) and Tacita Dean (1965-) continue to work with the light, encouraging the viewer to reflect on their own perception and preconception.
The binding has been designed in a large format of 280x250mm to accurately reproduce the fascinating details of the Tate collection. The paperback is reader-friendly.
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