This Autumn, Tate Britain will be examining how Britain’s Empire influenced the creation and collection of art for the last 400 years. The exhibition will also explore how the artists themselves were able to resist and reflect the Empire through their work.
It will feature the work that spans across the British Isles, North America, Asia and beyond, showcasing a wide range of different art.
Although today ‘Empire’ has become a controversial term thanks to its histories of war, conquest and slavery which are difficult to address today but its legacies can be found everywhere. Artist and Empire will concentrate on the people who created, promoted or confronted the British Empire through their work, bringing together over 200 pieces of art.
The exhibition will show how the meaning of these paintings, drawings and sculptures has changed over time, asking what they mean to us today.
By drawing from major public and private collections, Artist and Empire will investigate the different routes that art were created and collected. Historic paintings by artists such as George Stubbs, Anthony Van Dyck, Johan Zoffany, Lady Butler and Thomas Daniell will be shown alongside Indian miniatures and Maori artefacts – offering an insight into how each was made and collected.
The display will start in the 16th century, showing how artists were able to map the world and its resources. But it will also reveal how carefully staged paintings of international events were dramatised to manipulate the sympathies of audiences in Britain.
It does sound like another fascinating compare and contrast exhibition at Tate Britain, which will present history in an interesting way that will get visitors thinking.
Artist and Empire will be on display to the public from the 25th November until 10th April 2016.