Tate Modern Gauguin exhibition poster

Tate Modern’s Gauguin exhibition poster

Ok. It has been a month since our Gauguin exhibition opened and we have already had a fantastic amount of comments from visitors. Many thanks to everyone. As a curator, these insights into people’s experience, thoughts and opinions are fascinating and will certainly inform any projects I work on in the future. Please do post messages on the Tate blog - I read them all! I look forward to hearing from you. Christine 

Comments

Tony Broad

I found the Thematic approach interesting but used the iphone app to see the works chronologically which was helpful. His woodcuts were a revelation. Can't wait to go back and really have a good look at them, say on a wet wednesday morning to avoid the crush.

Warren Colman

I enjoyed the exhibition, despite coming away liking Gauguin (both the work and the man) less than when I arrived. The audio guide was interesting and informative and used the opportunity for additional images well. Glad to see from other comments that my problems with the signage was not just my poor eyesight! A chronological presentation would probably have been easier for those, like me, who know little of the artist beforehand - I find I learn a lot about artists by understanding their development. Gauguin's interest in mysticism and spirituality seemed forced and artificial - perhaps if he had had the inner inspiration he would not have needed to colonise and exploit Tahitians. So, despite his radicalism, very much a man of his time and not very succesful in transcending it. Curiously, the painting that's stayed with me the most was the one with Breton women and Jacob's fight with the angel - that seemed so much more authentic than the more famous Tahitian scenes.

peter harrison

I'm a 60-year-old painter who trained at Glasgow School of Art, and I've always thought of Gauguin as the most awful fraud and lecher, whose paintings are mainly intended to fuel his fantasies of his own priapic self-importance. The Tate exhibition did nothing to change my mind, but it was hugely informative and, I thought, carefully planned and thought through. The documentary sections were very well put together, assembling a wealth of visual information that put Gauguin's preoccupation with the exotic into a much wider context of French, and generally European, fascination with the 'other.' Creating sections of the exhibition for different topics worked well, I thought, and the initial 'self-portrait' room is a stroke of genius: the paintings really do show Gauguin as a swivel-eyed manipulator, who would be utterly at home today in any investment bank from whence, of course, he followed the winding path to the Marquesas. Well done Tate and thank you for a first-class exhibition.

Riq

Never much liked Gauguin. Felt I should have a look; free anyway as a member. Pretty crowded, hard to concentrate. Learnt a bit more about his unpleasant character, but that should not, but does, affect one's judgement of the works. Will go back again no doubt and try to get more to grips with it all. Some brighter lighting would help.

Pam Beech

Firstly, I must confess that I am not a huge Gauguin fan, however, I was excited at the prospect of seeing so much of his work in one place. The exhibition opened my eyes to his diversity - I had no idea he was such an accomplished sculptor! To my untrained eye there seemed to be huge differences in the quality of his work, even on individual pieces - part enchanting, part crude. I agree with previous corresponders about the written work - all much too small to see without peering which was difficult in the crowd. Congratulations, though, on bringing together such a large example of his lifetime's work.

Linda Nathan

I thought the thematic arrangement of the exhibition was very interesting but did find myself checking the dates of the paintings, trying to work out a chronology. Not knowing a great deal about Gaugin I was intrigued to discover both his talent as a self-publicist and that his depiction of Tahiti was more fantasy than reality. His use of colour is overwhelming and London seemed very grey when I left the gallery.

Diana

A truly fabulous and ambitious exhibition. However in common with some other commentators, the excessively crowded rooms prevented a proper appreciation - I quickly got exhausted (I think some people do in large crowds) trying to find uninterrupted view points. Because of this I found it all too large as well. I'm afraid I left after a while, bought the catalogue and spent the train journey home trying to re-call the originals whilst gazing at the prints and appreciating all the work that had gone into this exhibition. I would welcome being able to obtain a season ticket for exhibitions such as these. Living far away, I would come to London and stay for a few days and re-visit over those days.

anna

According to the excellent TV documentary on Gauguin, Nevermore was painted shortrtly after her baby had died.

Sara

I visited the exhibition on Thursday. Children in the exhbitiion didn't worry me, but being invited to queue for a table in the cafe did - surely it should be poosible to get a more efficient use of all that cafe/restaurant space - we only wanted a coffee. The exhbition was great and we enjoyed the audio. Who makes the decisionabout which pictures to talk about - and why these ones? I would have liked a lot more information about Gauguin's choice of paint amd materials - how his approach to the painting as opposed to the subject matter fitted in with other artists of the time - it was touched on, but much of the show focused on narrative and story telling.

The two rooms with letters etc were fascinating, but rather a lot to look at, some of the explanations were too far from the exhibits they referred to - hard to look at with so many people. It was great to see so many people in an art gallery - wish it happened in Suffolk!

Andrew Kostelnyk

well done Tate Modern for putting on a great show -really loved it and was most impressed by the drawings that Gauguin had done, The paintings were vibrant with colour and were in amazing condition when you think how old they are. Luckily I went early in the day so the crowds we not too bad -definitely well worth a second trip. Glad I got the superb catalogue as a must for continued reference- in the years to come.

Derek Lovell

I enjoyed this extensive exhibition very much...but I did find myself having to revisit galleries because the thematic approach was to some degree confusing. His complex development as an artist seems to lend itself to a more chronological approach. In this respect I found the last two galleries the most satisfying where the use of colour and the portrayal of melancolic wistfulness was supreme. Futhermore I did search for some acknowledgement that his childhood years spent in Peru and his strong friendship with Camille Pissarro influenced his development as an artist but I found none...Have I been led up a cul de sac?

Mette Gauguin

A wonderful exhibition, ambitious and authoritative and as one of his direct descendants I am delighted to see him back on centre stage in Britain. A pity that those above who leave such negative comments about his character repeat the same old mix of false accusations. If they troubled to find out they would discover that he did not infect his Polynesian 'wives' with syphilis.(he was almost certainly not infectious by the time he reached Tahiti)none of his descendants in Europe or Polynesia suffered any syphilitic symptoms. Also while we may look askance at his sexual relationship with 14 year old girls, in Tahiti and the Marquesas at that time 14 was the age when girls were considered ready for marriage and marriage to a European was considered a great prize, so these girls and their parents were very happy with the arrangements. While he was an arrogant and difficult man, he was not the sexually depraved monster often portrayed.

Finally have a look at the soft porn images of women produced by the traditional 'classical' French and English painters of the time, then look at Gauguin's nudes, I think you will find that his paintings of nude women have great dignity and poise in comparison.

I am heartened however to read that so many have enjoyed the show, I hope many more do.

Peter Martindale

I'm not sure that the conduct, morals or politics of artists help us much in making judgements of their work. If we disregard or diminish Gaugin's work because of his character or behaviour where do we stop? There maybe people who want a Primrose League of artists whose behaviour is morally acceptable, but count me out. I can understand that his art doesn't work for everyone, but it's the art and not the artist that matters. I think the exhibition's great, a window on an obsessive vision. It may be a fantasy, but fantasy or not, Gaugin's courage in sharing it is what makes him an artist of the highest order. How passive his women are, how devoid of men his world is, and how uncertain his subjects seem. He endlessly captures the moment before something happens, before his subjects' lips part and they say something - about what's happened, or what's going to happen, or what they want to happen. For me, seeing so many works together simply reinforces the power of Gaugin's perception and skill.

Richard

Not very interesting, theming did not add very much, no more impressed by Gaugin after the visit than before.

Why can't you include the bigger print captions at a higher level next to pictures so you don't have to block the view of everyone to read them, free booklet uninformative.

More generally circulation space in Tate Modern remains poor, eg you have to go down the stair case to get upstairs to the escalator if entering from the river side. Entrance area from that side is also very bleak. Tate Britain much better layout.

Claire Malan

I really enjoyed the Gauguin exhibition and throughly enjoyed his use of oolour. It's a real treat to see his work gathered together. I am a convert and hope to come and see the exhibiton again soon. Some people I have spoken to are clouded by the way Gauguin conducted himself and his paintings do seem to have a melancholy feel to them, inspite of the vibrant colours. My Year 10 students also throughly enjoyed the show and have returned to school enthused and exhilarated. So thank you!

Christopher Road

I absolutely loved this exhibition. I thought the thematic arrangement was very clever and made it all much easier to follow. Gauguin's use of colour, his sense of humour and general quirkiness were all eye-openers. I particularly liked the Breton paintings, having been to Pont Aven and Le Pouldu; the three Breton girls at Pont Aven were just adorable and touching.

Corinne Cousseau

I like very much the Gauguin exhibition, it was very interesting. I learn a lot of things about Gauguin's life and how it has an impact on his creativity. Thanks a lot for this great job.

Jeanne

The paintings are fabulous. I did find the light a problem in some of the rooms. I like the thematic arrangement , the written contextual material ( although difficult to access at times!) is fascinating. Thank you

Laura Brown

I've written a review on my own blog, but the main point I have to make is:

The exhibition was disappointingly lacking in any critical examination of Gauguin's relationship to his subjects. Indeed, some of the captions sounded like they could have been written in the 19th century themselves: "Over there he generously defended the gentle and naive indigenous peoples against those who oppressed them".

It would have been very interesting if the exhibition had included a Tahitian perspective: How accurate were Gauguin's portrayals of the island's culture? How do they compare to the native people's portrayals of themselves? What do Tahitians think of Gauguin today? The painter's biography, too, raised questions: What happened to the various children he fathered with teenage Polynesian girls? Did he spread syphilis to the islanders? All were unanswered. Despite the brilliance of the paintings, I went away with the sense of a missed opportunity.

Jayne Richards

I was very moved by the exhibition that I visited yesterday. I'd loved to have spent longer there but another engagement prevented it. I particularly liked the self portraits, the Brittany paintings and my favourite painting was 'The Little One is Dreaming'. In my job (orthodontist) I study facial profiles and was interested to see the change in Gauguin's as he aged and also the difference between the reality of his profile, as seen in photographs of him, compared with his perception of his own profile in the self portraits. In my job I see people with similar facial proportions and profiles that have widely different perceptions of how they look and feel about their appearance. The comparison of the self portraits and photos in the first room highlighted this to me. I'm haunted by the faces of the women in the Pacific Islands' painting - they all looked so sad; the feline like faces in the background of some of the painting and especially the severed head jug. Why were the girls sad? Why were there so few men in the painting? Why was Gauguin so tormented? I need to read more about the man and his works. Thank you for inspiring me. I used the audio tour which I found very interesting and gave good insight into the paintings and other artwork. Congratulations on putting together a fabulous collection and I found it heartening to see so many visitors. I hope to revisit the exhibition if I'm in London again with a few hours to fill. jR

Keith Walters

Yes the font on the captions was too small. The majority need to be able to read the captions from the position they view the painting, then, in a busy exhibition there's no need for so some much manoeuvring by everyone.

The breadth of the exhibition was great. But, while I enjoy imaginative and thematic approaches to curating, in such a broad exhibition I wanted a greater sense of chronology, so that I could build up some picture of Gaugin's stylistic development. And I would have relished much more reference to the influences on his work as it developed - social and particularly from other artists.

I realise that an exhibition isn't a tutorial, but I came away feeling I hadn't learnt enough about Gaugin's work.

I too was fascinated to see the works from Brittany, and also some of the earlier work where he's shifting through styles as he tries to find an adequate element for his symbolism. It was interesting to see lines to Matisse, Chagall, Munch.

I thought the woodcuts and prints were some of his best work. They had an immediacy that caught some of the vitality and particularness of his subjects, in a way that the majority of his Tahitian paintings, with their depersonalising search for some idealised female spirit of islands, didn't.

However, the picture of the young Tahitian woman in Western dress had a political undertow, that was difficult to ignore, and cast the rest of the room into a real social context.

Lyn Troup

Yes, visited Friday and regretted choosing a date in school half term. I wish too that people would not feel it necessary to comment so loudly when viewing the pictures. However, having just returned from a tour of Piera della Francesca's paintings in Italy I was reminded of his combination of realism, heavily blocked out figures and shadows in the foreground, with more visionary images in the distance. Pace earlier commentators who dislike 'leftie and liberal bias' I also felt that the curators could have been more critical of Guaguin's orientalist and macho attitudes to 'native' women. Should we really celebrate his 'buying' of a 13 year old girl, and his devil-may-care attitude to infecting many Tahirtian women with syphilis in the House of Pleasure?

Francoise Lowden

Very enjoyable and marvelous to see paintings that before one had only seen in reproductions. But the colour of the gallery walls was dull and some rooms claustrophobic. Ventilation not great.

alison watt

Dear Christine. This was my first trip to the Tate and I booked the ticket for the exhibition as part of a pre-planned day in London. I came without any real knowledge or expectation of Gaugin or the Tate,and whilst not particularly well versed in the arts I know what I like. After reading all the previous posts I am a little daunted but here are my thoughts. I have never been to a exhibition of a famous painter before.

So.. what did I find ? 1. Astonished by the size of the crowd. Is this normal in a ticketed exhibition. Disapointingly small print next to the paintings which along with that horrid flat light made it nigh on impossible to read. 2. During my visit there were a number of infirm and elderly people trying to get around and see the paintings. The amount of earnest budding Gaugins with their sketch books who were unwilling to move made me feel quite sad for them. Could anything be changed to address this? 3. Why did the exhibit area have to be so small?-the Tate is huge yet we were crammed in and had to shuffle about.People were irritated by this and it showed. 4 At the time I visited I thought the atmostphere was really quite strange. Lots of people nodding knowingly to one another and a group of men walking about arms folded,eyebrows up and down rolling eyes at one another. I was expecting more joy and people to be cheerful and excited about seeing the collection. It would be interesting to see what response you would see if this exhibition were to be shown outside London. 5. And the paintings? He's not my favorite thats for sure. I loved the Breton period. The life jumped off the wall despite the Tate lighting. I thought the Tahiti period disapointing. The colours on some of the work was beautiful, but others? nevermore? I didn't understand what all the fuss was about. 6. Favorite painting? Ondine. no-one ever mentions it but I totally love it but don't possess the vocab to explain why. 7. One visit to the gift shop, one fridge magnet and one lunch later I leave. I feel baffled by the Tate and exhausted-too exhausted to have a roll around in the sunflower seeds. 8. However it has opened my eyes to looking at Paintings and I thank you for that. I'm booking tickets for the Canaletto.

Cheryll Kinsley...

Dear Christine, I have alway loved Gaugin's work And that was the first time that I had seen it outside of a book! It was very moving and for me as an artist who started out making allegorical and mystical paintings, that were always received with an element of ridicule, it was completely inspiring and reaffirming for me. So I'm back in the studio with renewed vigour. My only criticism is that the one room with what for me were his most incredible works was too small to be able to see them properly through the crowds. I think that when curating an exhibition, some more thought should be given to the 'breathing' space of a work of art. I would have liked to linger in that room, but it felt rather claustrophobic.I will go again and again and perhaps eventually will have that room to myself! Thank you for inviting me to your blog. That was a first for me too! Regards, Cheryll

Robin Richardson

One of my favourite images in Gauguin's work is that of the central character in 'Where do we come from, what are we, where are we going'. The original painting has not been brought from Boston to Tate Modern, understandably perhaps in view of its size, but the yearnings and affirmations in it are present at the Tate thoughout. Humankind in the Garden of Eden, but not 'man's first disobedience, and the fruit of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste brought death into the world, and all our woe' but original blessing ... not a fall or transgression, but a rising, a progression ... all of us, both male and female, and of any and every ethnicity, reaching, stretching, venturing, achieving fruits from the tree of knowledge, of life. I shall be coming back to Tate Modern, more than once, before the exhibition ends.

Robin Whittaker

Loved it! Am going to come back and see it again. Still Life with 3 Puppies was my favourite, closely followed by 2 Tahitian women. Well done tate!

Moira Yip

Wonderful exhibition, and I will be returning to see it again. And it was less crowded than I had feared. One grouch (not just for this exhibition). Why can't the captions be put higher up, and in somewhat larger type? At present one can see the pictures rather well, even for a popular show like this, but it is very hard to get close enough to read the text, especially when it is right in the corner of the room.

Anne Heasley

Very much enjoyed the way the exhibition was themed and hung. Sometimes a chronological story of an artist's life can seem plodding so found this approach illuminating. And with the variety of having the places Gauguin visited with different and styles in each room the energy was maintained to the very end which is unusual. Also, the rooms of background information on his travels through Brittany, Martinique and Tahiti were well placed and researched - just enough background for me. And, of course, exciting pictures. Thank you.

Anne 15.October

Patricia Fry

I travelled from shropshire to see the Gauguin exhibition I enjoyed it in the main particularly the earlier Breton paintings It was well organised into rooms and left options to re visit rather than be shepherded round and then straight out. Gauguin himself was rather amoral though Some of the tahiti pictures were dark and spititually more on the devils side than the angels but still a terrific experience.

JD

I thought the exhibition was absolutely marvellous. Gauguin has never been one of my favourite painters, and I walked away with a completely new appreciation for his life, work, and artistic sensibility. The collection of works amassed was truly extraordinary, each room well-organised and integrated into the exhibition as a whole. I cannot wait to go back.

Regarding the crowd issue so many people seem to be mentioning--to be perfectly honest, I went late Saturday afternoon, and I did not find it too horrendous. It was crowded, to be sure, but not in such a way as to impact my enjoyment of the art. I find exhibitions at the Royal Academy far worse. I would echo the sentiments voiced about etiquette, people talking too loudly about idiotic subject matter, and especially people with children who don't realise that some of us take art seriously--it is amazing how self-centred some can be. That is the state of our culture, I suppose--and ultimately, it would be worth braving even the most ill-comported crowds for this excellent exhibition.

Alex Skorecki

It's too crowded. The Tate is letting too many people in per hour. When I'm paying £13.50 I expect better treatment.

Paul Wailen

I thought the exhibition was fantastic. I had seen much of his South Pacific work before but had not realised the amount of paintings he had done of Brittany and French pastoral scenes-these were a real revelation. I enjoyed also the little nick nacks that had been taken from his residences, especially the two chambered drinking mugs; the one with a small carved head sculptured into it was magnificent. A splendid exhibition which told me a lot about not just the painter but the rebellious man. I shall visit at least twice again!

Brendon O'...

I'm not sure how I waited almost over a week before I saw the Gauguin, I have been in love with his work since visiting Tahiti in 2005. I was going through great changes in my life and as a painter myself the story of how Gauguin gave up everything for his art was extremely poignant. I can still see those feelings when I look at the self portrait painted at the time, inspired by my trip to The Musee Gauguin which I had virtually to myself.

Seeing the work for real could so easily have been an anti-climax after all this build up, but thankfully I found it wonderful. Seeing Gauguin's lightness of touch, take bright colours and heavy full figures which could so easily have been clumsy and garish and making them into something sublime. Gauguin's use of cross cultural references and motifs were ground breaking but it was that combined with his deftness of touch and determination that make him one of the masters.

My wife who saw the show on the first Friday (she took her sixth form class to see it) felt she would have liked to see more of the seminal pieces but it has just whetted my appetite to seek them out. I anticipate many more visits!

Chas Perrett

First it was a huge undertaking and I appreciate all the effort that has gone into this exhibition. I liked all the documentation and posters and thought it rendered the thematic approach unnecessary. I have been twice and , It didn't make the earth move for me but I would love to own Jacob wrestling with the angel, which I have always thought was his best piece.

Al

I agree he was nothing short of a tvat. an alpha male who thought that the whole world revolved around him... Look to the atrocities in the Congo right now, at least the rapists don't create images of their activities but he chose to then and there it was nothing short of abuse.

bhunter

I am so glad to have read some of the comments as I thought I might be the only person to protest, I loved the exhibition but the screaming children, I think it's wonderful that children are taken to art, I was taken to art galleries in Glasgow when I was four but I was quiet as a mouse, yesterday some child on her father's shoulders screamed so loudly in my ear I nearly had a heart attack the crying babies and noisy children really spoiled the exhibition and I left as quickly as I could, sadly that was my impression of the exhibition, noise rather than the wonderful paintings I am going to the Monet exhibition later this year- it will be intersting to see how French children behanve

Noel Clarke

A lot of your correspondents appear ungracious, petulant not to say arrogant and I wouldn't encourage all this venting of spleen from people who as my grandmother used to say 'missed an opportunity to keep quiet'. Tell them to concentrate more.. Of course there will be crowds and occasionally small children. Prams perhaps should not be allowed and a creche for infants might be helpful. This said, the exhibition was a real eye opener for me. From not having liked Gauguin at all beforehand, the sequence of presentation of the works was very helpful the better to understand the artist, his character (not altogether savoury) and development. Above all your exhibition made me realise for the first time Gauguin's use of colour - eg yellow (or other clashing colour) - to illuminate his subject. This was a revelation (even if belated in my case) and a real pleasure. Thank you.

marksweet5@hotm...

Superb exhibition. I read a Moon and Sixpence when i was teenager and it made a huge impression on me, but it has taken till this exhibition to understand and really appreciate Gauguins art, so for me it has been one of the best exhibitions i have been to. It was very busy, but given it was half term that did not surprise or dismay me.....half way around i decided i would read Gauguins journals and return in a few weeks when it was less busy.

I must say that whilst i like to see children being introduced to art, i find the parents that take around very small children and babies very selfish and inconsiderate.........screaming children make it hard to lose yourself in a picture...the children are too young to understand what they see.....the parents are just on planet ME ME ME.

Delia hiscock walker

I was so delighted by the wealth of work exhibited, the intensity of Gauguin's work in-the-real and the extensive information provided. I just have to visit again before January. I appreciated the thematic organisation even though I have knowledge to draw upon.

Stephen Feather

Really enjoyed the exhibition. But the problem with these retrospective exhibitons is that they all have the same format - starting with early work and progressing to the more famous pieces with the histoy section as a break in the middle - a bit predictable. A lot of the more recognizable/ finished works are at the end of this massive exhibition. And by the time you get through the crowds to the end you are exhausted!I tend to give the first pieces I see as much attention as possible both visually/ thoughtfullness which I am not able to do by the end. I am not sure if some content is necessary - two rooms of history, drawings - carvings/ sculpture (I think these are relevant) but people didn't pay them as much attention as the paintings. Although overall a good show with great work and moments of genious - I think I would prefer to condense the size by 50% in the future or have a film or bar half way through. Thanks

chuck

I am an admirer of Gauguin's work though certain aspects of his life reduce his stature as a person ... however a tough if not unwarranted dissection is required if one is to separate the man from his work. So I settled in to enjoy some pieces I've seen over the years and much that was new to me (too many of the latter to elaborate). However there are several niggling issues that interfered with my 'Gauguin experience' and one in particular that seriously flaws an exhibit of this significance. The academic approach you chose can never match a natural, chronological flow of the work. Even if one walks away with a less formal understanding of the artist and the work, there is storytelling that can resonate deeper than that provided by scholarly instruction ... this isn't to suggest that academic perspectives are undesirable though these can be told with literature, video documentaries and audio phones - all of which are available. But when imposed within the work itself this approach suggests a lack of trust in the ordinary person's capacity to understand on possibly less intellectual but more meaningful levels. Consequently I suspect that for many - definitely for me - the story of Gauguin and the beauty and depth of his work fought to escape the structure of the exhibit. The solution is to avoid such academic filters ... in essence, practice a bit of laissez faire. Okay, one more complaint, which is hard to address, is that it was difficult to relax and take in the scope and beauty Gauguin's work. This might be a backhand compliment, praising your success in rounding up such a wonderful collection of Gauguin's work, but when so many travel so far to experience Gauguin in person it might be worthwhile to spread the work over a larger canvas effectively reducing the crowd and hopefully heightening the Gauguin experience.

Anne G

Well, I was determined NOT to go into the Gauguin exhibition because I felt so strongly about his sexualised interactions with young girls, and because I don't like the stylised way he painted. But, the Turbine Hall was shut and my friend and I were there, so we went in..... I don't like his work any better, but the curation has made me think far more seriously about my need to separate art from my knowledge of the lives of artists. And I mean 'art' very widely - writers too. I'm struggling with my assumptions about the artistic products of people who I find it hard to respect. The notes alongside the paintings have helped me to look much more carefully at Gauguin and his work. I still don't enjoy it, but I've learnt enough about him to think more carefully about the 'lens' through which he looked at life. And to be moved by some of his paintings.

Marina Inglis

Think Gauguin. Think Tahiti? Amazing how the mind builds associations. And though associations aren't a bad thing at all - they help us remembering things, there is a big chance of falling victim to generalization - Gauguin? Tahiti? What can be there apart from signature scenes: olive figures of aborigine women against loud, juicy colours of exotic landscape? What's the point in seeing them again? - at that thought the mind glazes over, and the cursor of the mouse may slip off the 'make the booking' button. Don't let it happen, open up your mind and buy the tickets - Gauguin will surprise you, no doubt. Now, when I think Gauguin, my mind comes up with the red fox, Gauguin's Brittany and wooden sculptures, stories behind Ondine, Eve, Pape Moe and many more- the whole new world that the exhibition unfolded to me as I progressed through the halls, each one offering a new theme. And, when finally, my eyes fell on 'Where are you going?' from the Hermitage, the picture I knew so well, I felt a sudden excitement at seeing it again, like that of spotting an old good friend among all those new amazing acquaintances.

Carola Zentner

I was really disappointed. I found that I did not relate at all to the majority of Gauguin's paintings with the main exception of the Brittany ones. I did not know that he was also a sculptor and I thought his sculpted head was magnificent. .Perhaps the Tahiti and Martinique paintings have become too much of a cliche but I was completely unmoved by them. Many of the descriptions were difficult to read - would have benefited from clearer and bigger type

Peter Kerns

My wife and I viisted the Gauguin exhibition on Saturday and despite the crowds we really enjoyed the experience particularly the audio guide which was very helpful. We found the joining together of the history of his times and his personal life and background very informative and helpful in trying to understand his paintings and sculptures. This joined up approach helped us to understand the context of the paintings and his specific style. An excellent exhibition and as members another one that makes our membership worthwhile.

Stephen Lanigan...

This was an excellent exhibition, and I went twice. The thematic, rather than chronological, approach to each room created a better understanding of the painter's process over the course of his artistic life, as did the "life and Times" room. A very detailed and stimulating layout, drawing a great cross-section of viewers - including a Gauguin look-alike last Tuesday!

Sian Smith

The descriptions let it down for me. They may look very elegant when the exhibit is empty, but are impossible to read or even get to when busy. The descriptions need to be next to the actual painting or sculpture, not somewhere else and in print large enough to be read over someone's shoulder. Also, some of the key paintings were in a room that was too small which lead to a sense of them being crowded together.

Anne N

I tried to enjoy the exhibition but as I went on Saturday afternoon, it was very difficult. There were too many people, which made it very difficult to truly enjoy all the paintings and read the text. Better crowd control would have made it much more enjoyable.

alimarcam

The bits of the exhibition I was able to see were enjoyable and furthered my interest in Gauguin, but the whole experience was ruined by (as previous people have said) there being far too many people allowed in at any one time, it being very hot and the presence of hundreds of extremely noisy, badly-behaved and above all, bored children. Also the writing by the paintings was very small which didn't help. Went to see the Budapest exhibition at the RA immediately afterwards and it was a welcome and peaceful anecdote to the mayhem of Tate Modern. I was considering taking out membership to Tate Modern but after yesterday I won't and doubt I will ever go back.

Pages