Open until August, this exhibition looks at the significant impact of immigrants on British art. From 17th and 18th Century Dutch and Italian painters who moved to Britain because they couldn’t compete with the great masters in their home countries at the time, to 20th Century modernists including Piet Mondrian, Naum Gabo and Laszlo Maholy-Nagy, the exhibition attempts to cover a vast range in terms of dates, styles, movements and provenances.
The show explores the establishment of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1768; works by Swiss-Austrian Angelica Kauffman, and Anglo-American Benjamin west were fundamental to it’s foundation. The aforementioned 20th Century modernists came to Britain, in the main, to escape the war in Europe in the 1930s and 40s. Some were personally threatened by the political unrest, their works having been included in Hitler’s exhibition of ‘Degenerate Art’, which included non-representational styles that he deemed to be a threat to Germany.
Moving on to the 1950s and 1960s and later, the exhibition covers works by artists who moved to the UK from commonwealth countries, including the Black Audio Film Collective. Sonya Boyce’s 1988 work From Tarzan to Rambo: English born ‘native’ considers her relationship the constructed self-image her roots in reconstruction examines representations of race and colour, and what they reveal about cultural stereotyping.
Image source: http://www.tate.org.uk/servlet/ViewWork?cgroupid=999999961&workid=1386&searchid=9609&tabview=image
Migrations: journeys into British art is at Tate Britain until 12th August
Tate Britain is open every day, 10.00-18.00
Last admission to special exhibitions at 17.15