Tate Britain will mount its largest survey ever of JMW Turner?s
watercolour masterpieces in June 2007. David Hockney will be working
with Tate curators on the selection of the works for the exhibition.
The BP Summer Exhibition Hockney on Turner Watercolours will showcase
Turner's unrivalled mastery of the medium, with the insights of a
contemporary artist who is also an exceptional watercolourist.
Around 165 watercolours from the world?s greatest collection of
Turners will go on display including a number of recent
acquisitions. Turner?s masterpiece The Blue Rigi (1842), which has
recently been saved for the nation, will be one of the highlights in
Turner?s ground-breaking use of watercolour spanned his career. The
exhibition will follow a broadly chronological path, focussing on the
main aspects of Turner?s output. From architecture to topography,
ideal and historic landscape to study from nature, finished works to
private sketches, illustrations to literature and works for the
engraver, Hockney on Turner Watercolours will reveal Turner's
extraordinary range as a watercolourist.
At the heart of the exhibition, Hockney will present his own
selection of Turner's unique colour studies or 'beginnings' with his
own commentary on the processes by which the artist constructed his
perspectives and patterns of colour and light, and experimented with
the potential of the medium itself.
David Hockney said: ?Turner is one of the masters of watercolour. I
am thrilled to be working with Tate on this major exhibition and to
study in depth their extraordinary collection of Turner?s
watercolours. This is one of the most challenging mediums for an
artist to work with.?
Stephen Deuchar, Director of Tate Britain, said: ?This is a rare
opportunity for us to mount an exhibition of Turner?s greatest
watercolours which, due to conservation reasons, can only
occasionally be exhibited. I am delighted that David Hockney has
agreed to work with us on the exhibition. It will show the
development of the virtuoso techniques that enabled Turner first to
paint watercolours that could compete with oil paintings, and later
to transform all aspects of his art by their example.?
Highlights will include The St Gotthard Road between Amsteg and
Wassen looking up the Reuss Valley (c.1803 or 1814-15); Turner?s
beautiful studies of the Thames, made on the spot in his sketchbooks;
The Somerset Room at Petworth, and watercolours made on the spot in
Italy in 1819 and 1828 like St Peter's from the Villa Barberini
(1819) and Lake Geneva from the Dent d'Oche from above Lausanne (1841).
The exhibition at Tate Britain will coincide with the major
exhibition tour JMW Turner in the United States. The most
comprehensive retrospective of Turner?s work to be exhibited in the
USA, it will open at The National Gallery of Art in Washington on 1
October 2007 before touring to Dallas Museum of Art and The
Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2008.
JMW Turner (1775 ? 1851) is considered to be one of the greatest
painters Britain has ever produced. The Turner Bequest, left to the
nation by the artist following his death in 1851, is the largest and
finest collection of his work and comprises hundreds of oils and
thousands of watercolours and other works on paper, providing a
profound insight into his creative evolution.
David Hockney is working alongside a team of Tate Curators led by
David Blayney Brown on Hockney on Turner Watercolours. An exhibition
of new paintings by David Hockney will also open at Tate Britain on
11 June 2007. David Hockney: The East Yorkshire Landscape marks the
artist?s 70th birthday in July. The exhibition will include five
large new paintings, each one around 12ft long.
BP has supported the BP British Art Displays at Millbank since 1991,
first at the Tate Gallery and then from the opening of Tate Britain
in 2000 to the present. BP's continued support, which was recently
extended until 2012, allows Tate Britain to create a broad and
dynamic displays programme which explores in depth British art from
1500 to the present.