When it comes to entertaining ourselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon in London we love nothing more than holing up in London’s Tate Modern gallery and spending hours wandering around the likes of Matisse and Warhol. We’ve been awestruck with the ever-brilliant shows that have captured our hearts in the last few years – from Yayoi Kusama’s recent spot-tastic, fashion-savvy exhibit to Gerhard Richter’s major, very colourful retrospective – so, there’s no surprise Tate Modern’s latest show, A Bigger Splash: Painting After Performance, is also making us feel wildly inspired.
Curated by Catherine Wood and Fiontan Moran A Bigger Splash traces the relationship between painting and performance focusing on the artists whose creative process was nearly as exciting as their end product. And who better to kick off a wildly performative exhibition than Jackson Pollock, the father of Abstract Expressionism who made so much of his work pouring and flicking paint directly onto a canvas, rolled out on the floor. His wide ‘action painting’ Summertime is a powerful starter and never more when placed opposite David Hockney’s iconic Bigger Splash after which the exhibition is entitled. (Us girls at Topshop HQ like to imagine ourselves around that Californian pool every time summer approaches!) Needless to say the exhibition is littered with stand out names and features a host of the pop art movement’s best bits and post ‘50s work that so many of our favourite fashion designers and very own Topshop pieces are inspired by.
Some of our favourite moments included a short film of performance artist Bruce Nauman covering and uncovering his body in gallons of paint (a very perfect and literal hybrid of painting meets performance) and Yves Klein’s vivid body paintings – in which he encouraged models to slather on his signature colour blue paint and writhe around on a canvas! But, for us, it was Cindy Sherman’s classic Untitled Film stills that stole the show. The artist whose collection of self portraits capture her as a very different woman in each image is a girl after our own heart, fitting herself out in a new costume and caking on the make up to create a whole new personality (something we quite like to try out on the odd wild night out.)
What’s clear is there’s more to some of our most loved works of art than we might think and sometimes the proof might just be in the process. So, if you’ve a spare weekend this winter and fancy a little culture in the form of some very striking works Tate Modern is the place to be.