Tate Britain : JMW Turner

28 01 2008


We went to see the ‘Hockney on Turner watercolours’ exhibition at Tate Britain. This was a rare opportunity to see some of his most spectacular works, 150 of his beautiful watercolours, or so the blurb said.

The following areas are fitted with a hearing loop:

* Auditorium
* Manton Studio
* Information Desks
* In addition, hearing loops are available on most gallery tours.

We cheekily tagged on to the end of a gallery tour (I could lip read the curator) then wandered off to explore the ground floor and Turner’s works. Tate Britain specifially say they welcome Hearing Dogs but I didn’t bring mine today, as I know he hates art galleries – all that attention going to the wrong place!

Overall, we were quite disappointed. Turner’s oils are quite dark, I guess this was the style of his times, but I couldn’t for the life of me see why he is lauded as such a great artist. Sure, he can paint. But so can thousands of others. His watercolours were certainly brighter, more colourful and more pleasing than his dark oils, and I can see how he could have influenced the art of his times through the use of colour and light. A rather creepy part of the exhibition was a plaster cast of the 75 year-old Turner’s face, with his mouth fallen in and sunken eye sockets. The Colour and Line exhibition showed how Turner revolutionised watercolour and print through interactive displays and experiments showing his techniques. This exhibition was very useful in that it showed his influence upon the art world and drilled down to the nitty gritty rather then just showing the end results.

Perhaps this is his true legacy, that he changed art for the better.

FOL verdict : PhotobucketPhotobucket