Magazine article Tate Etc.

Across the Ages

Magazine article Tate Etc.

Across the Ages

Article excerpt

Tate Etc. invited a selection of contemporary artists featured in the new rehang of British art to choose a favoured work from a fellow artist - past or present - also on display

Rose WyMe on Robert Peake's

Lady Anne Pope (1615)

What a painter. The art critic Laura Cumming said he was special and out on his own, or something like that, and put a big picture in the Observer. I couldn't stop looking at it. His portrait of Henry Stuart with red legs and puff-tunic is ace -specific, metaphysical and terrific; and with a wonderful look on his face. And now, Lady Anne Pope with cherries dangling round her... innocence? It doesn't matter, it's such a good ideato have "fill-in" with dense out-of-scale cherries, and with leaves. No status symbol here, or positioning. The faces of his portraits are not at all the same; and the inclusion of props of trees, castles and clouds for outside and silvery colours inside, plus the isolation of face-colour, completely suits meI wish I had one of his paintings. His dogs are good as well, and his horses. Marcus Gheeraerts doesn't have his magic.

*ROBERT PE AKE's Lady Anne Pope was purchased in 1955.

*ROSE WYLIE is an artist living and working in Kent. She has thirteen works on display at Tate Britain. Forthcoming exhibitions include the solo show 'Henry, Jack & Thomas' at Union Gallery, London, 10 May -29 July, Thomas Erben Gallery, New York, in October, Choi and Lager Gallery, Cologne, March 2014, and Vous Etes Ici Gallery, Amsterdam, May 2014.

John Stezaker on Stanley Spencer's

The Resurrection, Cookham (1924-1927)

As in all his Resurrection paintings, Spencer uses greys, lavenders and pale greens to suggest a translucent silvery world lit by a more intense version of moonlight. Underthis ambiguous light figures emerge from their graves, seemingly awakening from a collective dream and unaware they have returned to exactly the world that they left in death. Perhaps in Spencer's terms they are spared the horror of this confrontation with perpetual recurrence by the amnesia of their resurrected innocence.

The composition came out of an idea for something to be seen from below, and for a long time Tate re-created this spatial encounter by hanging it over the stairs that led down to the restaurant and toilets -the resurrection suspended over the descent into the underworld of animal appetites and waste. This may have marginalised the work, but for me it was an awakening to the painting. I suddenly saw it as a juxtaposition between under and overworlds, and one that seemed perfectly in keeping with Spencer's desire to minglethe sacred and the profane.

While the artist maintained this was an image of bliss, for everyone else it seems it has always been a scene of extreme disquiet, bordering on horror. For me, Spencer is nota religious painter, but a painter of the uncanniness of Christian doctrine imagined in contemporary pictorial terms. He is atranslator of the dreams induced through a religious upbringing, ratherthan a visionary. Instead of being a painter of the sacred, I see him as a social artist painting from within a community's sense of itself-from within the fold. The central image of his oeuvre has always been the crowd in a process of metamorphosis - dying, resurrecting, healing and mending; the crowd tending to itself. I think it is this spirit of redemption in Spencer's art that has been so important in the development of my own work.

*STANLEY SPENCER'S The Resurrection, Cookham was presented by Lord Duveenin 1927.

* JOHN STEZAKER is an artist living and working in London. His piece Untitled (1978-1979), purchased in 2012, is on display at Tate Britain. His work is included at the Aries Photography Festival (1 JuIy22 September) and he has a solo exhibition at Capitain Petzel Gallery, Berlin, 29 June -31 August.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye on

Walter Richard Sickert's Miss Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies as Isabella of France (1932)

I admire Sickert's ability to describe a lot with very little. …

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