Wednesday, 16 February 2011


Another exhibition which opened today is Watercolour at Tate Britain, claimed to be "The most ambitious exhibition about watercolour ever to be staged, with works spanning 800 years" (title link). Assistant Curator Anna Austen is "really excited to see such a vast selection of watercolours on display". Glad to know you're excited, Anna. Pity you ruined the effect by throwing in Big Names Anish Kapoor and Tracey Emin. I can't imagine either of those inartistic RA's painting a competent watercolour. And what about arguably our greatest watercolourist John Sell Cotman? Heard of him? If my preview seems a little sour, it's partly because Tate Britain has adopted the patronizing stance that it will "challenge your preconceptions of what watercolour is". Oh yeah? Another grumble is the price of entry: adults £12.70, silver surfers £10.90, too much for raiding its vaults. Star of the show is JMW Turner's The Blue Rigi, Sunrise (1842) which cost £5.8m to save for the nation.


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