23 November 2017 – 2 April 2018
Sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Virtual Reality in Partnership with HTC VIVE
Supported by Maryam and Edward Eisler, with additional support from the Modigliani Exhibition Supporters Circle, Tate Patrons and Tate Members
This autumn, Tate Modern will stage the most comprehensive Modigliani exhibition ever held in the UK, bringing together a dazzling range of his iconic portraits, sculptures and the largest ever group of nudes to be shown in this country. Although he died tragically young, Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920) was a ground-breaking artist who pushed the boundaries of the art of his time. Including almost 100 works, the exhibition will re-evaluate this familiar figure, looking afresh at the experimentation that shaped his career and made Modigliani one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century.
A section devoted to Modigliani’s nudes, perhaps the best-known and most provocative of the artist’s works, will be a major highlight. In these striking canvases Modigliani invented shocking new compositions that modernised figurative painting. His explicit depictions also proved controversial and led to the police censoring his only solo lifetime exhibition, at Berthe Weill’s gallery in 1917, on the grounds of indecency. This group of 10 nudes will be the largest group ever seen in the UK, with paintings including Seated Nude 1917 (Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp) and Reclining Nude c.1919 (Museum of Modern Art, New York).
Born in Livorno, Italy and working in Paris from 1906, Modigliani’s career was one of continual evolution. The exhibition begins with the artist’s arrival in Paris, exploring the creative environments and elements of popular culture that were central to his life and work. Inspired by the art of Paul Cézanne, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec and Pablo Picasso, Modigliani began to experiment and develop his own distinctive visual language, seen in early canvases such as Bust of a Young Woman 1908 (Lille Métropole Musée d'Art Moderne, Villeneuve-d'Ascq) and The Beggar of Leghorn 1909 (Private Collection). His circle included poets, dealers, writers and musicians, many of whom posed for his portraits including Diego Rivera 1914 (Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf), Juan Gris 1915 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) and Jean Cocteau 1916 (The Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation, Princeton University Art Museum). The exhibition will also reconsider the role of women in Modigliani’s practice, particularly poet and writer Beatrice Hastings. Hastings will be shown not simply as the artist’s muse, but as an important figure in the cultural landscape of the time.
Modigliani will feature exceptional examples of the artist’s lesser-known work in sculpture, bringing together a substantial group of his Heads made before the First World War. Although the artist’s ill-health and poverty eventually dictated otherwise, he spent a short but intense period focusing on carving, influenced by contemporaries and friends including Constantin Brâncuși and Jacob Epstein. For his wellbeing, Modigliani left Paris in 1918 for an extended period in the South of France. Here he adopted a more Mediterranean colour palette and, instead of his usual metropolitan sitters, he began painting local peasants and children such as Young Woman of the People 1918 (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) and Boy with a Blue Jacket 1919 (Indianapolis Museum of Art).
The exhibition will conclude with some of Modigliani’s best-known depictions of his closest circle. Friends and lovers provided him with much-needed financial and emotional support during his turbulent life while also serving as models. These included his dealer and close friend Léopold Zborowski and his companion Hanka, and Jeanne Hébuterne, the mother of Modigliani’s child and one of the most important women in his life. When Modigliani died in 1920 from tubercular meningitis, Jeanne tragically committed suicide. Tate Modern will bring together several searching portraits of her from Modgliani’s final years, on loan from international collections such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, which depict her in a range of guises from young girl to mother.
Modigliani is curated by Nancy Ireson, Curator of International Art, Tate Modern and Simonetta Fraquelli, Independent Curator, with Emma Lewis, Assistant Curator. Visitors will be able to enjoy a new integrated virtual reality experience right in the heart of the exhibition. The virtual reality room will bring visitors closer into the artist’s world, enriching their understanding of his life and art. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue from Tate Publishing and a series of events in the gallery.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s programme of arts support reflects our belief that the arts matter. They help economies to thrive and individuals to connect with each other across cultures, and they educate and enrich societies. Our commitment to the arts is a key element of our responsible growth. Around the world, we support not-for-profit arts institutions that deliver both the visual and performing arts which provide inspirational educational programmes, open access for all communities, create jobs, and are pathways to greater cultural understanding. Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com/about, and connect with us on Twitter @BofAML.
HTC VIVE will be partnering with Tate on the virtual reality experience in the exhibition. VIVE is a first-of-its-kind virtual reality platform, built and optimized for room-scale VR and true-to-life interactions. Delivering on the promise of VR with game-changing technology and best-in-class content, Vive has created the strongest ecosystem for VR hardware and software, bringing VR to consumers, developers and enterprises alike. The Vive ecosystem is built around the best VR hardware in market, supported by Vive X, a $100 million accelerator for VR and related technology start-ups, Viveport, a global platform and app store for VR that operates in more than 30 countries, and Vive Studios, its VR content development and publishing initiative.
Since the consumer launch of the product in 2016, Vive has been at the forefront of converging culture and technology to foster deeper understanding of art’s impact on humanity. The Vive VR platform has been employed across the arts sector, supporting projects around the world in conjunction with notable institutions and events including the Royal Academy of the Arts, Somerset House and Tribeca Film Festival.
For more information on Vive, please visit https://www.vive.com