Antony Cairns LDN5_051 2017

Antony Cairns LDN5_051 2017 © Courtesy of the artist Antony Cairns

‘Shape of Light’ at Tate Modern



Tate Modern presents ‘Shape of Light: 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art’, the first show of this scale to explore photography in relation to the development of abstraction. 2 May – 14 October 2018.

Source: Tate Modern

Featuring over 300 works by more than 100 artists, the exhibition explores the history of abstract photography side-by-side with iconic paintings and sculptures.

”Shape of Light” places moments of radical innovation in photography within the wider context of abstract art, such as Alvin Langdon Coburn’s pioneering ‘vortographs’ from 1917. This relationship between media is explored through the juxtaposition of works by painters and photographers, such as cubist works by George Braque and Pierre Dubreuil or the abstract expressionism of Jackson Pollock and Otto Steinert’s ‘luminograms’.

The exhibition also acknowledges the impact of MoMA’s landmark photography exhibition of 1960, The Sense of Abstraction. Installation photographs of this pioneering show are displayed with some of the works originally featured in the exhibition, including important works by Edward Weston, Aaron Siskind and a series by Man Ray that has not been exhibited since the MoMA show, 58 years ago.

The connections between breakthroughs in photography and new techniques in painting are examined, with rooms devoted to Op Art and Kinetic Art from the 1960s, featuring striking paintings by Bridget Riley and installations of key photographic works from the era by artists including Floris Neussis and Gottfried Jaeger. Rooms are also dedicated to the minimal and conceptual practices of the 1970s and 80s. The exhibition culminates in a series of new works by contemporary artists, Antony Cairns, Maya Rochat and Daisuke Yokota, exploring photography and abstraction today.



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