Tuesday 14 May 2013


I'm glad to see that Tate Britain has been rehung on strictly chronological lines. This - rather than the thematic approach that has held sway for too long - is so obviously the best way to hang a historical collection of national art. Schools and 'isms' are more often created by art critics and historians than by artists, and the 'themes' dreamt up by curators can be deeply unhelpful. When paintings are hung with other works of their time they speak for themselves, loud and clear - the more so, in the Tate's new hang, because the gallery has done away with those tiresome interpretative captions. Now we can look at the work itself, unmediated by commentary, and set in the context of its time. This will surely make for a much more rewarding, illuminating - and demanding - experience. It's a sign of our retroprogressive times too: the recently reopened Rijksmuseum is also hung chronologically, with furniture and objets d'art of each period enriching the context - perhaps Tate Britain could have a word with the V&A?  And perhaps something could be done about Tate Modern...

1 comment:

  1. And perhaps something could be done about Tate Modern...

    Above ground nuculear testing?