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Light: Works from Tate's Collection

This Melbourne-exclusive showcase from the UK's Tate galleries features more than 70 works, including pieces by Claude Monet and Yayoi Kusama.
By Sarah Ward
February 11, 2022
By 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.

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.

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.

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: Phoebe Powell

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

Top images: Installation view, 'Light: Works from Tate's Collection', showing at ACMI, 2022. Photos by Phoebe Powell.

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