A Huge Exhibition From the Tate with Art by Claude Monet and Yayoi Kusama Is Coming to Australia

Displaying at ACMI, Melbourne-exclusive showcase 'Light: Works from Tate’s Collection' will feature more than 70 works from the UK galleries, covering the past 200 years in art history.
Sarah Ward
February 11, 2022

One of the world's most acclaimed galleries is coming to Australia, and it's bringing more than 70 works that chronicle the past 200 years in art history with it. For a five-month season from mid-June, the UK's Tate will take over Melbourne's Australian Centre for the Moving Image with a hefty exhibition that'll span everything from painting, photography and sculpture through to drawing, kinetic art and installations — and, of course, the moving image.

Given the time period covered by Light: Works from Tate's Collection, the list of artists that'll be on display is a varied one — as drawn from pieces in the Tate's four separate sites in Britain. Art lovers will be able to see works by famed English romantic painter and watercolourist Joseph Mallord William Turner alongside the light- and space-focused efforts of American artist James Turrell, plus pieces by impressionist Claude Monet and Japanese favourite Yayoi Kusama.

Running from Thursday, June 16–Sunday, November 13, the unifying theme is light, as the exhibition's name makes plain — and if you're wondering how this connects to ACMI's remit as a museum for the moving image, light is obviously crucial to all recorded vision. While Light: Works from Tate's Collection will step through art history, ACMI will further put its pieces into broader artistic context by presenting it alongside its permanent The Story of the Moving Image exhibition, which examines the origins and genesis of film and television.

Raemar, Blue, 1969, James Turrell. Tate: Presented by the Tate Americas Foundation, partial purchase and partial gift of Doris J. Lockhart 2013. © James Turrell. Photo: Tate.

From the impressive roster of art and artists, Turner's 1805 painting The Deluge will make its Australian debut, while Kusama's characteristically kaleidoscopic 2005 sculpture The Passing Winter gets viewers peering into a mirrored cube. Turrell's Raemar, Blue, from 1969, is an immersive spatial environment that surrounds visitors in infinite and immersive light. And among the other highlights sits paintings by John Constable, Wassily Kandinsky, Bridget Riley and Joseph Albers; more impressionist pieces from Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley; and rotating crystalline sculpture Stardust Particle by Olafur Eliasson.

Announcing Light: Works from Tate's Collection, which falls under the Victorian Government's Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series, ACMI Director and CEO Katrina Sedgwick said that "this is a rare opportunity to experience the expansive collection of one of Britain's most famous cultural institutions right here in Melbourne."

"ACMI is proud to present a treasure trove of artworks inspired by a phenomenon so fundamental to moving image creation. Through its exploration of light as both a subject and a medium this extraordinary exhibition enables our visitors to explore surprising and enlightening interconnections across time and artform," Sedgwick continued.

Stardust particle, 2014, Olafur Eliasson, Tate: Presented by the artist in honour of Sir Nicholas Serota 2018. © Olafur Eliasson. Photo: Tate

Light: Works from Tate's Collection was initially curated for the Museum of Art, Pudong in Shanghai, and heads to ACMI after displaying at Buk-Seoul Museum of Art, Korea.

In Melbourne, the ticketed exhibition will be accompanied by talks, performances, workshops and late-night events, as well as film screenings. Although the events lineup hasn't yet been revealed, masterclasses with cinematographers, artist discussions, and magic lantern and 16mm presentations will all be on the bill, as will two free exhibits — from Australian artist Mikala Dwyer in ACMI's lightwell and by Lis Rhodes in Gallery 3, with the latter's Light Music also coming from the Tate Collection.

Light: Works from Tate's Collection will display at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square, Flinders Street, Melbourne, from Thursday, June 16–Sunday, November 13, 2022.

Top image: The Passing Winter, 2005, Yayoi Kusama. Tate: Purchased with funds provided by the Asia-Pacific Acquisitions Committee 2008. ©Yayoi Kusama. Tate.

Published on February 11, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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