All Too Human celebrates the painters in Britain who strove to represent human figures, their relationships and surroundings in the most intimate of ways.
It features artists including Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon alongside rarely seen work from their contemporaries including Frank Auerbach and Paula Rego. Many of them lived or live in London, drawn to the multicultural capital from around the world. Three important works by Francis Bacon will be shown in the UK for the first time in at least three decades.
I want the paint to work as flesh does.
Lucian Freud, 2009
The exhibition also shows how this spirit in painting was fostered by the previous generation, from Walter Sickert to David Bomberg, and how contemporary artists continue to express the tangible reality of life through paint.
[I want to portray the] sensation of a page torn from the book of life
Walter Sickert, 1910
Works by Leon Kossoff, Euan Uglow, Kitaj, Jenny Saville and others, show how different individuals get to grips with their own existence.
Well worth a visit to Tate Britain.
Also Tate, five ways to paint a body is an interesting link to the exhibition
The exhibition features works by major artists including Graham Sutherland, Peter Lanyon, Stanley Spencer and Gillian Ayres. Visitors will be able to enjoy portraits and landscapes, as well as observational drawings, abstract works and compositional sketches.
The art of drawing
Highlights include studies by Sutherland for his crucifixion paintings, where stark black lines and dense shading create Christ’s agonised form on the cross. In contrast, Stanley Spencer used delicate pencil outlines to represent stretcher-bearers during the First World War.
The show ranges from the energetic scribbles of Frank Auerbach, from which London landscapes take shape, to the exuberant colours of Gillian Ayre’s abstract work and Michael Rothenstein’s designs of birds.
If you have a chance over the next couple of days (before Sunday 3rd July) head to Mottisfont, nr Romsey, to see drawings from the Schlee Collection. This wonderful collection is normally hidden away in the vaults of Southampton Art Gallery. Grab this chance to see drawings, preparatory drawings and other works by major modern British artists. Thoroughly recommend it – much better than looking out at the rain.