Review Round Up: Shape of Light: 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art, Tate Modern

On display from the 2nd May, Tate Modern’s latest exhibition explores the relationship between photography and abstract art by presenting work by artists such as Man Ray and Alfred Stieglitz. Here’s what critics have had to say about it… 


The Guardian: **** “The result is a kind of mirror-history of the medium’s relationship to documentary and abstract art.”

The Times: ** “This show comes to feel like an academic essay as it doggedly progresses, meticulously hammering each argument home.”

The Telegraph: *** “There are many wonderful works here, but the gallery is huge, and the overall point needlessly broken down into rather repetitive sections, often containing similar images by the same artists.”

The Independent: * “This is one of the most clangorously dull and yawn-worthily repetitious shows that Tate Modern has managed to pull out of its deep, saggy sack of mixed marvels for many a long year.”

The Upcoming: **** “Walking through the Tate’s story of photographic and artistic practices, the exhibition-goer’s attention is repeatedly caught by unexpected details and nuances of surface and texture.”

Evening Standard: *** “More seriously, the philosophical issue of how abstract art conveys an essence behind appearances, or how such art might be said to be a metaphor for those essences, goes wrong with photos in this show where it works fine with paintings.”

London Visitors: “This intriguing exhibition explores how the birth of abstract art and the invention of photography created a new modern visual culture which was often marginalised for most of the 20th century but gradually became more popular and respected for the innovation and originality of artists and photographers.”

Shape of Light: 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art is on display at the Tate Modern from the 2nd May until the 14th October. For more information visit:


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