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

j johnson

Went Friday and could barely see the art so hard to comment. Hideously full of people, prams, phones. I have been a member since Tate M opened but the overcrowding in the members room, exhibitions and generally means I visit much much less.

Liz Thomas

We were surprised by the sombre nature of many of the paintings but cheered up by the lovely vibrant ones. We felt that the information on the "labels" was far too small. It was interesting to see the dates of the paintings - the difference in style in just a year was sometimes very marked - but difficult to get close enough to read them a) because of the volume of people (it was Saturday morning) but also because of the people who "clump" together around a painting listening to their headphones. Perhaps display could be larger and clearer for future shows ?

Jerry Glover

I'm sorry that Douglas Burke (the comment directly above as I type) was disappointed, but agree with Orla McKeon that the audio/video guide was an absolute must and a delight to listen to -- maybe that would have made Mr. Burke's experience a better one.

Personally, I had no idea that Gaugin was a printmaker, let alone a gifted one. I admit I had to look up "zincography" when I came home, and am even more impressed now.

As to the Turbine Fiasco, I am disappointed -- not that the Tate has bowed to the Health & Safety Commissars -- but that people haven't risen, as in Tiananmen Square, against this unrepresentative, undemocratic powerplay by faceless bureaucrats who think they rule society. The very "seeds" of the exhibition are representative of the Chinese masses, and it is highly ironic to see the Health Commissars demand that people should not walk amongst the people, and the Tate ropes the whole thing off and would no doubt call in the Metropolitan Police goon squads, just as the Politburo would do, should anyone dare to cross the line.

Tony Swan

We were impressed by the coverage of gauguin's work, the amazing number of institutions lending works, the range of gauguin's skills and the quality of the information on the audio guide. We were also pleased that the Tate had advised us that Sunday evening was the least crowded time to go. Overall I feel it was an excellent and rewarding exhibition. However I do have one criticism which I am voicing here in the hope that you will find it helpful rather than hurtful. It is that I feel the sequences chosen for displaying the works and on the audio guide were not well coordinated. As a result I found myself criss-crossing the rooms in an almost random and unpredictable way which on a more crowded day would have been rather irritating.

kirsty Heppenstall

I visited the exhibition last week and was so disappointed - there were far too many people allowed in and you could not see the paintings. I feel we paid a lot of money for a terrible experience. I will not ever come to one of these exhibitions again at the Tate Modern.

Jill

Unfortunately, I agree with Shaun. I came from France to see the exhibition and am very glad to have done so, in spite of the crowds. For a very long time Gauguin has been one of my most favourite painters. I have seen a lot of his work in different countries and read extensively about his life. Because of that I knew the chronology; the themes and mythmaking are only part of the story and it is only when one knows about his life, and the sad and sordid end, that it makes more sense. One had to buy the exhibition guide (disappointing) to find the chronology at the end. I took the audio guide because one can always learn something new but, frankly, I found much of the narrative infuriating. Having made negative comments it was still marvellous to see such a collection of Gauguin paintings, which in all probability I will never see again!

oenone dudley

I am not a massive fan of Gauguin but I enjoyed this exhibition which had so much in it! I had not, for instance, seen his carvings before which I particularly enjoyed. I visited at 5.30 pm on Sunday when most of the children had departed which, judging from some comments, was a good idea. Smart move to open until 10pm. Personally I liked the thematic grouping of paintings as it instantly confronted me with the change he experienced in his life. Although some people have complained about crowding his best known works into the last 2 rooms, I found I appreciated them in a different light after seeing the other less well known items. There seems to be a lot of criticism and I do wonder whether people who are happy with it tend not to bother to comment?

Naomi Hughes

I visited on Monday morning so the exhibition was not too crowded. I liked the layout but felt that the exhibition was too big to take in on one visit. His drawings were lovely but I kept thinking of Henry Moore as I wandered around.

John Thomas

If the Tate is going to curate a major exhibition such as this then it needs to learn from others such as the BM and the V&A regarding how to present cutting edge exhibitions) Numbers need to be restricted so that paying visitors whether they be members or not can enjoy these marvellously sensuous paintings and objects. I agree with other comments, the paintings were hung in too small a space(though this may be because of the crowds).The labels were too small and badly positioned and I am by far no expert but to me it would have been more appropriate for the self portraits to have been hung towards the end of the exhibition rather than the beginning so that we could appreciate them after learning about the man and his life.

John Stinson

The explainations/instructions to the layout of the exhibition felt intuitive. I welcomed the themed layout & the life & times rooms. I did not really know Guaguin's work before entering the exhibition. I felt I had a sense of his work and who he was after leaving. Enjoyable & informative. I loved his range of colour and simlicity to evoke an interpretation of an entire culture. btw - what happened to the Weiwei's piece, so dissapointing not to be able to walk on the sunflower seeds, a real let down, as it is, it's an unfinished Japanese Garden.

linda

I lack the academoic knowledge to offer any profound comments . the overcrowding is noteworthy but I expect if Gaugin 2 did it for me" this would not be a problem. I visit Art Galleries to help open my mind to new experiences and to enjoy what the artist has to offer.Clearly Gaugin and I did not have a meeting of minds! The Tahitian women all looked sad, or apathetic . Men were absent or in the distance. Gaugin's ambivalence about religion requires some thought. His Breton paintings were presumably as mythical as the Tahitians ones but to me felt less exploitative.Is Gaugin "a man's painter"? I agree that all the writing ,is rather wasted in this overcrowded exhibition.

Madeleine Pennock

Absolutely fantastic exhibition! I live in middle England, so quite a drive to get to London, but well worth it! I saw many paintings, woodcarvings and ceramics I have never seen before even in books. For me the icing on the cake was seeing his drawings, sketches and work books. As an artist myself, this is where you can begin to comprehend how he managed to put his ideas together and finally into the end product; the paintings. I will make a return visit hopefully when it is less crowded!

Don.Collishaw

My interest in Gauguin was awakened while studying art at school too many years ago to mention, and I was not going to miss this exhibition. I went early on a Sunday morning and as a result it was not overly crowded.

I have seen many of the paintings before, I was lucky enough to visit the centenary exhibition in Paris as well as galleries throughout Europe, but there were a number of paintings I had not seen before other than in books.

A minor gripe, that my favourite was too near a corner rather than being a centre-piece - I do like to view from close up and further back. Having said that, I hope to re-visit a few times over the coming months.

Neal Vaughan

Dear Christine

It is nice to see the Tate engaging visiters in feedback on the exhibitions.

Gauguin was more than I hoped. This is maybe because I have never seen as many Gauguin's together, but is more likely to do with the way the exhibition has been handled.

Van Gogh and Anish Kapoor at the RA were great exhibitions by must see artists but the experience was something to forget. The latest contemporary art exhibtions at the Saatchi have been a mixed bag, sometimes inspiring other times frustrating, but the space is good. In terms of Gauguin the Tate has managed to get it right, I think. The balance between crowds and overcrowding is a fine line. The exhibition space that the Tate designed and the flow of foot traffic was, on the whole, really good. The trouble I had with the RA was that I simply could not linger at some paintings and step back a view others aspart of a series, at Gauguin I could. OK it was hard to sometimes, but I COULD. That's the point. This made me able to view Gauguin and his work in a new light. This is another chance to pat the Tate on the back as I have always had Gauguin down as a bit of a,...well..a twat! (sorry!) But I got it, I really transformed my view of the artist and the Myth maker was theme was perfect. I also could see for myself the debt that art owes to Gauguin. The road to abstraction must be routed in the spacial experiments, colour expression and conceptual themes that Gauguin used in his art with such ease.

This exhibition highlights the work of a true genius and it is down to Tate that the message of this comes across clearly and without too much dumbing down.

Thank you Christine

Sarah Gordon Wild

A great way to appreciate the different stages of his career... loved your commentary about his Tahitian doorway... the thematic rooms made it easy and fascinating to compare island vs Breton life. My only gripe is that small muddy labels are a nightmare to read and why put so many in the corners? I gave up reading them half way through... glad he didn't use lead paint...

Evie Pitman

Visited the exhibition today at 4.30pm. Had been concerned about numbers of visitors, but pleasantly surprised to find was not overcrowded. The audio/visual guide was wonderful and loved the thematic layout which I felt communicated Gauguin's concerns and aims very clearly. Was totally absorbed in the work - until reached room 8 when staff announced gallery was closing. I feel you should warn visitors that they should allow 2 hours to see the show if they are using the audio/visual guide. It took my husband 1 hour 20 minutes to get round the exhibition with the audio guide but he concentrated mainly on the works covered by the guide and did not spend much time on other pieces. I complained about this, along with two other foreign visitors who had had the same problem, and we were given complimentary passes to return to the exhibition, which was much appreciated. The member of staff we complained to said that most people just "dipped into" the audio guide. If you take the trouble to produce this aid to the exhibition, you should assume that people are going to use it fully and set last entry time at 4.00 pm on an evening when the gallery closes at 6.00pm.

David Brazier

Loved the works; Gauguin knocks on a door in my head and pulls it slightly ajar, leaving me wondering. A couple of the Breton works will stay with me forever, although I shall never know why. The themed rooms are quite useful and I liked them. The ancillary displays and contemporary material was probably interesting, although you could seldom get close enough to look carefully at it. I have to agree with others about the crowds; truly awful, especially those people with camping stools to sit in front of the pictures.

Maggie C. Keane

I came over from Paris to see the Gauguin - last Thursday - and of course was very excited about it. Until I saw the crowds, prams, children racing around in the little space there was. So I dashed from picture to picture when ever I saw a place free. Perhaps not the best way to visit such an impressive retrospective which certainly shows how important Gauguin was at that period. So many of the paintings outside of his Tahitian period were unknown to me and I was not able to enjoy them as I had hoped to. Couldn't the Tate restrict the number of entries per period so at least we call all enjoy their excellent exhibitions?

Tony

Second visit to the exhibition after finding it too crowded in the first week of opening to take it all in. Visiting at a weekend though meant it was once again busy but I found that with a little preparation (leaving coat in cloak room etc) I was in a better position to take in the art on display.

Knowing little about Gauguin prior to the exhibition I felt it allowed me make my own judgment about his work and his life in general. In addition, the way the rooms were themed allowed me to take a fresh perspective viewing art too.

It is clear many who have posted on this blog are 'experts' or confident about their own view. Please understand, I know my art as in what I like and I know my photography VERY well but for someone who isn't that knowledgable on painting the exhibition was a winner.

Top Tips - Leave coat in the cloak room, download the Gauguin App by Tate Modern for the iPhone.

nick wright

I appreciate the problem of overcrowding, though my Monday morning viewing was not spoiled by it. Gauguin's pictures are so full of human life that I was pleased that November 2010 life was not entirely absent! (OK. I could have done without the mobs of primary school kids whose eyes rarely strayed to the pictures) Even glimpses of these mysterious masterworks between the shoulders and over the heads of excited viewers, was a rare privilege. I'm grateful to the Tate --- and not too angry with the shoulders and heads!

Jacky Colliss Harvey

Very impressed at the amount of contextual material discovered for the exhibition - added hugely to my enjoyment of the show. This and 'Colours of the Night' at MoMA are two shows that have really changed my ideas about the artist featured. Good big exhibition spaces, on a practical level, too, although your wall text is a couple of points sizes too small - at least. On a personal level the pencil life-study of the girl sitting, from behind, is one of the best I have seen - a wonderfully satisfying thing. Why is it always the work one likes best that there's never a postcard for?

Jean Cozens

I enjoyed the exhibition but I thought it might have been more informative and made more sense of Gauguin's life if it had been in chronological order.

John Harding

A comprehensive and informative view of his creative life. So crowded! It felt like being on a well-known Irish budget airline flight - I'm surprised you don't make the off-peak shows cheaper to maintain maximum occupancy. Cloakroom staff amazing. Toilets inadequate and disgusting.

veronique

Thank you Christine for inviting visitors to comment on the Gauguin exhibition. The way the show is put together - from the selection of paintings to the flow of their presentation - gave me the feeling that I was following Gauguin throughout his journeys. I discovered less well known aspects of his art (prints, woodcuts, zincographs) and came out with a more complete view of the artist, his life and his art. Congratulations!

Vivien Leung

I visited on Tuesday afternoon, around 2pm. I thought the exhibition was fab, however it was so busy and really too noisy.

However it was still thoroughly interesting and visually pleasing.

Cynthia

The paintings, prints,other exhibits layout and life/work rooms were great. A friend and I visited on 19th October at midday and bumped into other acquaintances. We are all over 60 and noticed that at least 60% of the crowd were over 50 years old. At this age most visitors have a reasonable knowledge of Gauguin and do not want to hire earphones for a guided tour. Eyesight is also deteriorating and everyone was looking for the title/date/ownership etc on the wall and then peering at the small print. Why are exhibitions still printing information in the smallest possible type size? It was so annoying and was the only thing that spoilt the experience.

tom Cunliffe

My first brief visit and I was pleasantly surprised. I have only studied Art for 46 years and have never given Gauguin much time or space thinking his work to be rather predictable. I liked his quirky sense of composition which in part reminded me of Suerat. I also enjoyed the varying treatment of the sleeping children and the way that motif returns later in life. For a quick spin around I thought it an impressive show, well organised and displayed and one that quite rightly 'fills in the gaps' in my appreciation of his work. I will undoubtedly be going back again and again.

Thursa Sanderson

I went on Tuesday 19th mid afternoon and it was very crowded, but I still enjoyed it. I love the atmosphere in a gallery and people-watching as they look at the art. So many pictures I hadn't seen before. Unfortunately I was there with family members who were 'finished' much sooner than I was and I could have happily stayed for much longer. Found the adjacent rooms with the historical/cultural perspective also really fascinating - especially details about Flora Tristan who I didn't know about before - someone to follow up.

Ian Smith

I have liked Gauguin in the past, when spotted in small numbers, but I'm afraid that this exhibition did absolutely nothing for me, except for the Yellow Christ, which was probably because I like Craigie Aitchison. I see that Tate Modern continues in its drive to improve our health by making us walk the length of a room to find out what a picture is, and then leaving it to us to guess which caption refers to which picture - not as bad as usual, but still in evidence.

heather nicholls

I loved this Gauguin exhibition. It excelled my expectations. I am currently studying colour, and am therefore interested in Gauguin as he did not follow his contemporaries on their colour/style. He achieves such remarkable effects with his multi-layering of pigments and, especially in lighter areas, his mark-making is utterly beautiful. His shapes and juxtopostions of colours I found exhilarating.

I was greatly disappointed in the Weiwei sunflower seeds now that we cannot touch/feel/walk on them.

The Trisha Brown Dance event of eight white figures I found delightful

Lucia Sa

I really enjoyed the exhibition. I tend to like straight-forward chronological exhibitions, but I appreciated the thematic grouping in this case: it worked really well, and brought out the similarities and differences between his different phases. I particularly liked the connections with narrative. There was enough information on the walls, and above all, the selection of works was excellent.

Terrie Simpson

I visited yesterday with my 15 year old and my 13 year old. We were all a bit sceptical about the visit as none of us really finds Gauguin's work appealing. (I think that one of your other contributors said that they had thought that he was a bit of a Twat! Although i thought that the Exhibition was very interesting, it was exceptionally crouded at 4 o'clock on a Thursday afternoon and i think that you sold too many tickets. It was not possible to view systematically and there was constant pressure to move on before you could consider your response. The Children, who are used to art exhibitions did not have an enjoyable time and felt intimidated by the crouded and hot space.

If the gallery had not been so crowded, the life story would have been accessible and the experience could have been more positive. Sadly, i still have a poor opinion of his work but a better understanding of his life. I will not bother going to an exhibition of his work again and will have to think twice about using a pretious day out with the children,along with the associated costs, on a visit to a charged event at the Tate.

On a more positive note, we loved the Sunflower Seeds and associated video. It is a shame that we were not able to interact with it but understand the constraints. The children wanted to know why it was not possible to buy sunflower seeds, especially as this product would provide an onging income to the community in China.

kevin darcy

Asking for comments from members suggests a reaction to a lot of complaints. Understandably a popular exhibition will attract a lot of people, but I do not think that suggesting to members that they make several attempts, especially if they come from a distance, is the best answer. Nor is suggesting that they come very early or late, because that will also create crowds. I am afraid that limiting through rationing is the only solution and in the interests of everyone. That and more members-only events.

John Critchley

We were amazed by the huge range and diversity of Gaugin's work, which we had not appreciated before. Congratulations on assembling such a large number of wonderful works!

(We visited the exhibition on a Saturday evening, about 7pm. Although busy, it was not overcrowded - and we plan to return this weekend with another couple of friends.)

John and Sandy Critchley

joyce

It had quite an effect on me. Found the concept behind some of the work extremely interesting, but unfortunately I am ill with a cold and it was very busy, so plan to return when the buzz has settled down and my head is able to connect the mind and the heart

Peter J

Overall this is a brilliant exhibition well planned and with thoughtful but not intrusive commentary. I particularly liked the placing of Manao tupapau right at the entrance - it sets up whats coming very well.

My only negative comment would be about the book shop - I believe it would have been useful to have a few more books about Gauguin for sale including novels - after all you show one in the exhibition.

For example Maria Vargos Llhosa's 'The road to paradise' is a wonderful and evocative fictional account of the painters ( and his grandmothers ) life that offers more insight into his world. Maybe visitors might wish to buy books like this to continue their experience. Overall though you did a great job - well done.

Bhasker Kamath

The exhibition was extraordinary and wonderful. Having seen the recent BBC 4 documentary on Gauguin was very helpful. The actual layout could have been better enjoyed if there was a sequence and perhaps numbering. The only criticism was of the audio guide which did not give the room numbers and was confusing at times. Could have been better. It should be /idiot-proof'!

Brian Bilson

I was not as impressed as I expected to be with the quality and dynamism of the actual artwork. Of course, it was very instructive to have a large body of work and artefacts associated with one, clearly revered, artist and I am glad of the deeper insight I think I have now. I was interested, particularly in the spin that your curators appeared to be putting on the reasons for Gaugin's exit from Europe to the tropical islands. You seemed to be saying that it was to add a romantic edge to his work in order to make them more exotic/appealing to the fashionable thinking of the time. I benefitted, in my thinking, from the understanding of Gaugin's intellectual approach to religion in the islands. I think that will be my lasting memory of the exhibition.

Peter Morgan

Although I enjoyed the Gauguin and like others I found the information on his search for primitive religion in the South Seas very instructive in understanding his pictures of that period.

I found some of the paintings a bit disappointing as the colours appeared so muted and dull. I can only think that they may have needed cleaning. I am also far from convinced that arranging pictures in a major exhibition by subject matter rather than as a progression of changing styles as the artist ages and absorbs other influences.

I do though, take strong issue with the way the picture information is displayed. So often this information is sited in the opposite direction to the way in which I am going (there never seems to be a right way). Why so often, are two or more sets of information placed together when there is plenty of space nearer to the second picture? Of course at times there is a link between the pictures. Sometimes this information is set in the corner of a room with two pictures at right angles to one another which not surprisingly causes unncesessary congestion.

Finally, I came with a non member and when I enquired at the ticket desk if I would be allowed to take my companion into the members room I was told that they were sure there would be bo problem (I only have a 'member', not a member plus guest membership). At the entrance to the members room, though I was told in no uncertain terms that my compagnion would not be allowed in. I uappreciate my membership does not entitle me to bring in a non member, but I wish I had been told that when I enquired which would have saved three interminable lift journeys / waits while I found somewhere without a very long queue.

lyn

It was a prolific exhibition of Gauguin's work,and as such had to be of interest to anyone interested in Gauguin, but the exhibition was too crowded to be seriously enjoyable. It would have been infinitely better to have had a sequential grouping of the paintings. In some ways the exhibition was quite erudite, but a lttle self indulgent, as in the grouping in themes, showing the knowledge of the curators rather than conveying it to people who perhaps know little of the subject. I would imagine it could be quite confused.

David James

Thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition - it gave fresh insights into Gauguin's work and built on our understanding of the artist gained initially from the exhibtion on the Pont-Aven School which we saw in Quimper, Brittany a few years ago. I thought that the documentary evidence relating to the French colonies in Oceania was fascinating, too. So congratulations to you and the team for all the research which obviously went into this exhibition. However I must make critical comment on the form of the notes alongside the paintings. Why, on earth, given the vast amount of wall space available, was the type so small? Even with reading glasses I found them very difficult to read unless I was able to get very close. With so many other people having the same problem the space close to the pictures was very congested. This is a fault of all the art exhibitions I have been to. It's time that the organisers realised that many of the visitors are middle aged and not possessed of binocular vision!

Mike Moran

I thought the exhibition was well assembled and well displayed. It gave a good overview of Gauguin's work. I was only familiar with the 'highlights' of his painting before. However, seeing a substantial body of his work in one place left me with the view that he is a much-overrated artist. The curation notes on his use of Tahitian phrases that he didn't know the meaning of and his surprise at finding that there were already Christian influences at work in the islands made it clear that he he was not the champion of their way of life that he is often claimed to be. I got the impression that we were looking at the life and work of the 19th Century's ultimate 'gap year' student - visiting but not engaging.

I was glad I went but I didn't become a big Gauguin fan as a result.

Finally I don't understand why other visitors found it surprising to have big crowds in attendance - surely this a testament to the event's success?. I went at 10.30 am and it was fine.

len higbee

I enjoyed the exhibition which was well laid out but there were far to many people to be able to stand back and enjoy the paintings. For me there were not enough of his best paintings at the exhibition perhaps only 15 all together, never the less I did enjoy the woodcuts and sculptures very much. My opinion is that Gauguin did a lot of good quality paintings and a lot of indifferent paintings and this exhibition concentrated on the latter.

Tim

I agree with Neal that it is great to see the Tate inviting feedback on the exhibition. I booked on line to visit at 3.30 on a Thursday afternoon. Ticket collection and entry were extremeley smooth and efficient but I was thoroughly taken back by the number of people there at the same time as me. I apreciate there is a balace between profit (income) and space but I think the balance needs review.

The exhibition its self was first class and the groupings by 'theme' worked very well. Despite the jostling a great afternoon and thank you for the oportunity.

Dan

As someone who has never seen more than the occasional Gauguin 'in the flesh', I found the exhibition never less than interesting and often quite sensational. The thing that struck me was how he captured so precisely the different light conditions of Brittany, the Pacific Islands, etc., despite using hyper-real or unrealistic colour schemes. Many thanks for a super couple of hours.

Bob Chase

What a fantastic exhibition. His work is amazing and the display ad lighting were both just about right. We went last Wednesday afternoon (3rd November) but what a pity that it was so very very crowded. This seems to be a problem that a lot of other bloggers have noted. It can't have been helped by the group of three we say coming through the exit door!

Trevor Jameson

Dear Christine

I visited the Gauguin exhibition on Wednesday afternoon. The rooms were busy but not too crowded.

I spent about 90 minutes looking at the exhibits. Towards the end of the exhibition I found I had seen enough for this visit and began to skip some of the pictures in the last three rooms.

As a Jungian Analyst I was left somewhat intrigued by the choice of title. Myth is central to Jungian psychology as I am sure you know. But I did not see Gauguin as a myth maker, instead as someone who was caught up in his own psychological approaches to existing myth and in particular his angry reaction to the 'Christianisation' of Tahiti as he saw it.

I have not visited the South Sea Islands but have some knowledge of the regions of France connected to Gauguin. I have spent a number of occasions in Pont Aven and surrounding areas of Brittany. I very much enjoyed seeing the Breton paintings and particularly the Yellow Christ for the first time.

I was also very pleased to see a number carvings by Gauguin contained in this exhibition.

I bought the catalogue and intend to read it before returning for another visit.

Thank you for all your hard work in organising this show.

Polly

Loved the exhibition and learned a lot about Gauguin. It was busy so didn't finish and will follow your suggestion and resume another day. Found the audio guide useful (perhaps that's why I spent so long going round!)

Nicola

Hi Christine,

Thank you for inviting me to comment. If you truly read the high volume of responses this exhibition is attracting, then that's as impressive as you being sufficiently interested in my thoughts to encourage me to pass comment.

I enjoyed the exhibition and feel that I learned about Gauguin, and I found myself quite gruesomely interested in the commentary around the severed head vase. It is also the first exhibition I have been to that dealt with an artist with a commercial mindset alongside his artistic impulse. Although I suppose Holbein might be seen as a forerunner in terms of commercially astute artists; and so, perhaps Gauguin is by no means an exceptiontion in this regard.

To be wholly predictable, I did enjoy the exhibition's examples of Gauguin's Taihitian period, especially the two Taihitian girls and the group picture alongside entwining with nature and including the small, perhaps sickly, child in the corner. Although I did find the commentary regarding Gauguin's attraction to young girls juxtaposed with a perceived underpinning of female liberty something I have to think a great deal more about since, for me, that is a problematic association of values. One automatically thinks of a quite cynical seduction by an older and probably wealthier European upon naive and impressionable indigenous beauty. But then, perhaps the pre-missionary culture of Taihiti celebrated such unions. Either way, it's a little problematic for me.

Katie Mundell

Christine-I only had time to read through the first 20 or so comments, but the neagativity is a little overwhelming. On a positive note, I left the exhibit elated, inspired, and very pleased. I apprecaited both the ipod headset (much better than the traditional versions)and the small exhibition booklet that was provided which allowed you to read the same information (plus more) that was on the wall in your own space. I have been visiting exhibits around the world for almost two decades-and I am quite surprised at how shocked people are about the crowds-OF COURSE there are crowds, Gaugain was a great artist, who would expect less? The Tate is an amazing space, and I enjoyed the chronilogical set-up of the galleries and timeline of the artist's life. I felt I received a very comprehensive insight into his life and his artisitc expression-thouroughly agree with the message, the maker of myth. Great work.

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