Editors’ Letter

‘Today art is moving in a direction of which our fathers would never even have dreamed’, wrote the artist Franz Marc in 1912. ‘Everywhere new artists are greeting each other; a look, a handshake is enough for them to understand each other’. Marc, whose red, green and yellow cows jostle for space on the cover of this issue of Tate Etc., was a founding member of the Blue Rider, a circle of creative friends who would wrestle art from the past and usher it into modernity. Natalia Sidlina, curator of Expressionists, coming to Tate Modern this spring, writes about the artistic community whose outsized influence on art has been felt ever since.

The idea of creative community runs throughout this issue. We’ve compiled 18 dedications to the legendary artist, musician and activist Yoko Ono from fellow stars who have been lucky enough to encounter her. What shines through these recollections is the generosity with which she brings people together and helps them to find their voices. ‘The unseen role of the artist is as creative catalyst’, writes Elvis Costello.

Communities can also form across time and space. In a timeline illustrated by Olga Prader, Tudor women who painted miniatures at the court of Henry VII rub shoulders with art students at the Slade some 400 years later, all fighting to fit into an art world built for men; for Outi Pieski, interviewed in the issue, a creative circle can extend back in time to include her Sámi ancestors, who she converses with through craft.

As Alvaro Barrington says in a Q&A: ‘for some reason I started hanging out with artists’. That’s something we can recommend to everyone.

Tate Etc.


    Alvaro Barrington

    Curator Hannah Marsh speaks to the artist about his forthcoming commission at Tate Britain, a project shaped by place, carnival …

    What's in a Name?

    Artist Joy Labinjo recounts the discovery of a previously unidentified Black sitter in a portrait at Tate Britain

    The Icing on the Cake

    Like its baked namesake, Humphrey Jennings’s Swiss Roll 1939 is a curious creation of the human mind, writes Ruby Tandoh

    Two Steps Ahead

    Tate Etc.’s new resident writer Momtaza Mehri meets Anna Boghiguian in her studio in Cairo, and discovers an artist whose …

    So Much More to See: By Joel Meyerowitz

    Photographer Joel Meyerowitz reflects on his 60-year exploration of colour, and the photographic experiments – now on display at Tate …

    Now You See Us

    Contrary to the prevailing story of art, women have worked as professional artists in Britain since the Tudor age. Who …

    Socialite Responsibility

    Beneath the irresistible fin-de-siècle glamour of Sargent’s portrait of Adèle Meyer are subtle clues about the identity of a determined …

    A Fair Share

    For RESOLVE Collective, the renovation of Tate Liverpool presented an opportunity to reimagine the role that arts organisations can play …

    We love you, Yoko

    To celebrate the largest exhibition of Yoko Ono’s work ever to be staged in the UK, we bring together 18 …

    Art Breaking Free

    In the early 20th century, an international circle of friends known as the Blue Rider were united by an urge …

    ‘We all hold collective knowledge’

    Outi Pieski’s art explores Sámi culture and identity. While on residency in St Ives, Pieski spoke to Ellen Mara …

    Wish You Were Here

    Artist Ingrid Pollard reflects on the constant presence and inspiration of her parents’ treasured photo albums

    Taste Etc: Bobby Baker

    Displaying the Sunday Dinner

    Agony Artist: Dear Mx Mavis

    From AI anxiety to networking as an introvert, Mx Mavis (AKA artist and sex activist Ajamu X) solves the …

    In Dialogue with the Past

    Curator Chloe Hodge speaks to artist Keith Piper about his new work, Viva Voce, a film installation that examines …