Curator Clarrie Wallis explains why this is the moment to stage the contemporary painting exhibition, Painting Now: Five Contemporary Artists, at Tate Britain

Curator Clarrie Wallis with Gillian Carnegie's Section 2012
Curator Clarrie Wallis with Gillian Carnegie's Section during the installation of Painting Now

Hello, I’m Clarrie Wallis, Curator of Modern and Contemporary British Art, and over the past year and a half I have been working with my colleagues Lizzie Carey-Thomas and Andrew Wilson on Tate Britain’s forthcoming contemporary painting exhibition.

The decision to stage a contemporary painting show at Tate was in some ways the result of making a visit to Gillian Carnegie’s studio to see her latest work. We were struck by the fact that Gillian hadn’t had a major British exhibition since the Turner Prize in 2005 so her recent paintings were little known to a wider audience. We were aware that there were a number of other important painters in a similar position. They might have a strong history of exhibiting internationally but have not had the opportunity to exhibit in the UK or be the subject of extensive critical debate.

Painting today exists in many different guises. We decided not to make an overarching survey of painting in Britain but to invite five artists to exhibit a selection of their recent work. Each of them – Tomma Abts, Gillian Carnegie, Simon Ling, Lucy McKenzie and Catherine Story – offers a range of answers to the proposition of what painting might mean now. 

This week the paintings are starting to arrive, and we will post more as we install the exhibition over the next couple of weeks. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments on the show.

Painting Now: Five Contemporary Artists is on display at Tate Britain from 12 November to 9 February 2014

Painting Now Tate Britain Installation
The entrance to the show is currently closed, but will open on 12 November!


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