Monster Chetwynd, ‘Crazy Bat Lady’ 2018
Monster Chetwynd, Crazy Bat Lady 2018 . Tate . © Monster Chetwynd

Room 12 in Walk Through British Art

60 years

12 rooms in Walk Through British Art

Achæan

Bridget Riley, Achæan  1981

Riley is a leading figure of op art – short for optical art. Her paintings use geometric shapes and colour to trick the eye and explore the nature of perception. She made Achæan after visiting Egypt in 1979. Her experience there led her to intensify the colours in her painting. Riley developed what she called her ‘Egyptian palette’, inspired by ancient Egyptian tomb paintings and the local landscape. The simplicity of Riley’s striped composition allows her colours to establish the painting’s structure.

Gallery label, May 2019

© Bridget Riley 2020. All rights reserved.

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1/30
artworks in 60 years

Karl Lagerfeld Bean Counter

Anthea Hamilton, Karl Lagerfeld Bean Counter  2012

Karl Lagerfeld Bean Counter 2012 is a large floor-based sculpture the central element of which is a perspex cut-out of a reclining man who is wearing a lycra wrestling suit. He is resting on his left elbow with his right arm extended in front of his torso, one leg folded under him and the other outstretched. In front of him, trapped in acrylic, is a pile of buckwheat and in front of that ten Desiree potatoes are laid out. These incongruous elements sit on a low wooden rectangular plinth which is painted white.

© Anthea Hamilton

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2/30
artworks in 60 years

The Generosity

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, The Generosity  2010

Yiadom-Boakye’s portraits are fuelled by her interest in the history of figurative painting. Her work can perhaps also be seen as a critique of this history, addressing the absence of black subjects in western European and North American portraiture. She emphasises that her ‘starting point is always the language of painting itself and how that relates to the subject matter’. Her characters are imaginary, rather than based on specific individuals. She constructs deliberately ambiguous scenes for them, encouraging us to project our own meaning on to the work.

Gallery label, May 2019

© Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

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3/30
artworks in 60 years

2016

Maggi Hambling, 2016  2016

2016 depicts a boat sinking below the surface of the ocean. The seascape viewed from above mimics a photograph captured from a hovering press helicopter. Hambling painted this work in response to media images of asylum seekers drowning in the Mediterranean Sea. ‘I kept seeing pictures… Boats were being abandoned by the traffickers and left to drift and disappear,’ she recalled. Hambling made the work over the course of 2016.

Gallery label, May 2019

© Maggi Hambling. All Rights Reserved 2020 / Bridgeman Images

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4/30
artworks in 60 years

I Could Feel You

Tracey Emin, I Could Feel You  2014

In this drawing Emin examines her relationship with her own body by looking at how the (female) body changes over time. Throughout her career, Emin has exposed aspects of her own, often intimate, experience in a way that is vulnerable and defiant at the same time. She does not shy away from difficult personal experiences. She has commented: ‘Much of my work has been about memory, for example, memories of violence and pain… I’m trying to draw love, but love isn’t always gentle… Being an artist isn’t just about making nice things...’.

Gallery label, May 2019

© Tracey Emin

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5/30
artworks in 60 years

Belshazzar’s Feast, the Writing on Your Wall

Susan Hiller, Belshazzar’s Feast, the Writing on Your Wall  1983–4

This work was prompted by reports of apparitions appearing on television screens after broadcasting ended, before 24-hour transmission. According to Hiller, the people who experienced this were ‘using television in the way that people used to use their fires’ to ’get ideas, see shapes’ and stimulate ‘imagination, creativity, even prophecy’. The title refers to the biblical account of mysterious signs appearing on a wall.

Gallery label, May 2019

© Susan Hiller

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6/30
artworks in 60 years

Veil

Shirazeh Houshiary, Veil  1999

This painting is part of a series called ‘self portraits’. Houshiary explained that in these works she set out to ‘find the essence of my own existence, transcending name, nationality, cultures’. Veil refers to the chador worn by some Muslim women. Houshiary has inscribed Arabic text related to Sufism on the surface of the painting. This mystical form of Islam is an important reference for the artist, who moved to the UK from Iran in 1973. The delicate writing changes in different light conditions, sometimes becoming invisible.

Gallery label, May 2019

© Shirazeh Houshiary

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7/30
artworks in 60 years

Cigarette Tits [Idealized Smokers Chest II]

Sarah Lucas, Cigarette Tits [Idealized Smokers Chest II]  1999

In Cigarette Tits (Idealized Smokers Chest II) 1999 an everyday wood and metal chair has had a black bra attached to its back, facing forwards, each cup containing a sphere whose surface is entirely covered with cigarettes. Both cigarettes and chairs have featured in Lucas’s work over a long period. She has used chairs in her work since 1992, originally partly because they were cheap and easily available but also because of their metaphorical relationship to the human body (see, for example, Pauline Bunny 1997 [Tate T07437]). Cigarettes have also figured significantly in her practice. In her early work, they were mainly featured in photographic self-portraits (for example, Fighting Fire with Fire 1996 [Tate P78449]), as a rebel accessory, a phallic stand-in and a means for independence, and in the artist’s words for ‘possessing time in a palpable way, stopping to pause and contemplate … It’s really important to have areas of your life – whether it’s walking into a pub or smoking – where you suddenly feel you’ve found your own time zone.’ (Sarah Lucas, quoted in Sarah Kent, ‘Young at Art’, Time Out, October 7–14 1998, p.42.) Later, Lucas started to use them as a material, completely covering surfaces with cigarettes and using them to create swirling patterns as seen in Cigarette Tits. She has explained:

© Sarah Lucas

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8/30
artworks in 60 years

Portrait of Derek Marlowe with Unknown Ladies

Pauline Boty, Portrait of Derek Marlowe with Unknown Ladies  1962–3

Pop artist Boty used popular culture imagery to question how gender roles were presented. This work contrasts the treatment of an individual male sitter and the decorative depiction of unnamed women. Derek Marlowe (1938–1996) was an English writer and painter. He appears cool and assertive, in a pose common in celebrity photographs of the time. The smudged faces of four anonymous women are cut off at the forehead and chin. Boty said that for most men, women were ‘kind of things’.

Gallery label, May 2019

© The estate of Pauline Boty

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9/30
artworks in 60 years

The Destruction of the City of Homs

Deanna Petherbridge CBE, The Destruction of the City of Homs  2016

Petherbridge made this work in response to the press coverage of the civil war in Syria. Homs, a city that has seen some of the most intense violence of the conflict, is shown as a bomb-damaged labyrinth. The artist has spoken of her painstaking attention to detail in making the work as a way of commemorating ‘all the imaginary people and their activities: the office buildings, the factories, the mosques, the schools and hospitals, the homes, apartments and workshops and their bombardment to rubble and dust.’

Gallery label, May 2019

© Deanna Petherbridge CBE, courtesy of the artist

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10/30
artworks in 60 years

Jesus and Barabbas (Odd Man Out 2011)

Monster Chetwynd, Jesus and Barabbas (Odd Man Out 2011)  2018

Chetwynd often references cultural history. This work is based on a previous performance of the biblical story of Jesus and Barabbas. Both men were condemned to death but custom dictated that one would be pardoned. The crowd chose Barabbas to be released, resulting in Jesus’s crucifixion. Chetwynd is interested in how a democratic choice might be undermined by bribery and corruption. The enlarged reproduction is Bacchanalian Scene 1862 by Richard Dadd (1817–1886), on display in the 1840 gallery.

Gallery label, May 2019

© Monster Chetwynd

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11/30
artworks in 60 years

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Mona Hatoum, Interior/Exterior  2010

Hatoum’s work is concerned with themes such as violence, oppression, displacement and exile. Interior/Exterior Landscape presents a series of items that make subtle references to the artist’s biography arranged in a cell-like room. These include a hair-embroidered pillow depicting flight routes between cities Hatoum regularly visits, a bag constructed from a cut-out print of a world map, and a birdcage housing a hairball. This work uses the personal space of a bedroom as an expression of identity and cultural belonging.

Gallery label, January 2020

12/30
artworks in 60 years

Inversions

Mary Martin, Inversions  1966

Martin was interested in the relationship between art and architecture. She was also thinking about questions of proportion and variation – issues that relate to architecture as much as art. The 96 aluminium panels are positioned according to a sequence, which is then repeated backwards as the ‘inversions’ of the title. Inversions is an abstract work, but Martin’s choice of reflective material means that it always includes elements of the environment where it is displayed, including the bodies of the viewers in front of it.

Gallery label, May 2019

© Estate of Mary Martin

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13/30
artworks in 60 years

Crazy Bat Lady

Monster Chetwynd, Crazy Bat Lady  2018

This is a large-scale self-portrait of the artist. It is based on a photograph taken by the artist’s mother. The original image has been manipulated using photocopies and collage, giving the face a mask-like appearance. A bat and a butterfly form the hair or an extravagant hat. The work reflects Chetwynd’s interest in staging and performance and presents a wry take on female stereotypes.

Gallery label, May 2019

© Monster Chetwynd

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14/30
artworks in 60 years

Maybe you can live on the moon in the next century

Fiona Rae, Maybe you can live on the moon in the next century  2009

Rae’s work treads a line between personal expression and quoting from wide-ranging cultural sources. Her energetic, mostly abstract works are laced with humour and playfulness. This painting combines expressive mark making with what looks like digital imagery. Explaining why she includes stencilled pandas, hearts and stars, she says: ‘They’re quite personal and have something to do with finding a way to live with authority. They puncture the authority of the gestural brushmarks and the grand tradition of modernist painting.’

Gallery label, May 2019

© Fiona Rae

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15/30
artworks in 60 years

Quadrille

Rose English, Quadrille  1975, 2013

These materials document a performance that took place at the Southampton Horse Show in 1975. The audience, there to watch equestrian events, were taken by surprise by a group of female performers dressed to resemble horses, complete with tails and high hoof-shoes. Carefully choreographed, their movements mimicked the highly controlled routines of horses in dressage competitions. English was part of a generation of women artists in Britain in the 1970s who used performance to highlight and disrupt oppressive gender roles and ideas of class and social hierarchy.

Gallery label, May 2019

© Rose English, 2015. All rights reserved. Courtesy Karsten Schubert, London.

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16/30
artworks in 60 years

All for You

Tracey Emin, All for You  2014

In this drawing Emin examines her relationship with her own body by looking at how the (female) body changes over time. Throughout her career, Emin has exposed aspects of her own, often intimate, experience in a way that is vulnerable and defiant at the same time. She does not shy away from difficult personal experiences. She has commented: ‘Much of my work has been about memory, for example, memories of violence and pain… I’m trying to draw love, but love isn’t always gentle… Being an artist isn’t just about making nice things...’.

Gallery label, May 2019

© Tracey Emin

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17/30
artworks in 60 years

One Minute of Water

Hilary Lloyd, One Minute of Water  1999

This one-minute work helps us focus on the act of looking. Lloyd has looped footage of rippling water into a mesmerising film that appears to be ever-changing. Its framing removes any clues to the wider setting and gives it a sense of infinity. The effect of dappled sunlight on the water’s surface transforms the footage into an abstract and painterly scene. Lloyd carefully chose the equipment, which she considers part of the work, in order to emphasise our physical relationship with what we see.

Gallery label, May 2019

© Hilary Lloyd

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18/30
artworks in 60 years

Police Constable Jamila Blake (Lolita Chakrabarti)

Dawn Mellor, Police Constable Jamila Blake (Lolita Chakrabarti)  2016

This is one of a series of works depicting female police officers from British television dramas. Mellor has painted the women in their police uniform costumes and has added ‘visual commentary’. These elements complicate how we look at the characters and relate to society’s expectations for female protagonists. The paintings belong to a series called Sirens. This title evokes the sound of police cars, as well as the ‘screen siren’, an actress famed for her seductive appearance. The term originally refers to the enchanting yet dangerous female creatures in Greek mythology.

Gallery label, May 2019

© Dawn Mellor

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19/30
artworks in 60 years

Enfleshings I

Helen Chadwick, Enfleshings I  1989

This work is part of a series of lightboxes called ‘Meat Lamps’. The artist used photographs of meat, including offal, combined with other materials. The works confront us with the reality of the human body as physical matter. Our ideas and feelings are generated within our flesh, not from some detached and superior position in relation to it.

Gallery label, May 2019

© Estate of Helen Chadwick

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20/30
artworks in 60 years

Wire and Demolition

Prunella Clough, Wire and Demolition  1982

Clough’s paintings of urban and industrial scenes were often inspired by objects the artist noticed during walks around sites of interest. Here Clough references a piece of old wire discovered on a building site. Before studying art, Clough made maps for the US Office of War Information. The influence of this experience can be seen in her depiction of boundaries and fences in her paintings.

Gallery label, May 2019

© The estate of Prunella Clough

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21/30
artworks in 60 years

Pin Up and Porn Queen Jigsaw

Rose Wylie, Pin Up and Porn Queen Jigsaw  2005

Wylie’s subject matter is often drawn from popular culture. Ranging from film stars to footballers, she describes the people she paints as ‘shared contemporary gods, outside of art and religion’. Her bold paintings confront what she sees as society’s obsession with style and self-image. The ‘pin-up’ of the title is the figure on the left, based on Marilyn Monroe in the 1961 film The Misfits. The head on the right is Annabel Chong, drawn from Wylie’s memory of a television documentary about the pornographic film actress.

Gallery label, May 2019

© reserved

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22/30
artworks in 60 years

Police Constable Kate McFay (Maxine Peake)

Dawn Mellor, Police Constable Kate McFay (Maxine Peake)  2016

This is one of a series of works depicting female police officers from British television dramas. Mellor has painted the women in their police uniform costumes and has added ‘visual commentary’. These elements complicate how we look at the characters and relate to society’s expectations for female protagonists. The paintings belong to a series called Sirens. This title evokes the sound of police cars, as well as the ‘screen siren’, an actress famed for her seductive appearance. The term originally refers to the enchanting yet dangerous female creatures in Greek mythology.

Gallery label, May 2019

© Dawn Mellor

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23/30
artworks in 60 years

Sergeant June Ackland (Trudie Goodwin)

Dawn Mellor, Sergeant June Ackland (Trudie Goodwin)  2016

This is one of a series of works depicting female police officers from British television dramas. Mellor has painted the women in their police uniform costumes and has added ‘visual commentary’. These elements complicate how we look at the characters and relate to society’s expectations for female protagonists. The paintings belong to a series called Sirens. This title evokes the sound of police cars, as well as the ‘screen siren’, an actress famed for her seductive appearance. The term originally refers to the enchanting yet dangerous female creatures in Greek mythology.

Gallery label, May 2019

© Dawn Mellor

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24/30
artworks in 60 years

Stay Up

Tracey Emin, Stay Up  2014

In this drawing Emin examines her relationship with her own body by looking at how the (female) body changes over time. Throughout her career, Emin has exposed aspects of her own, often intimate, experience in a way that is vulnerable and defiant at the same time. She does not shy away from difficult personal experiences. She has commented: ‘Much of my work has been about memory, for example, memories of violence and pain… I’m trying to draw love, but love isn’t always gentle… Being an artist isn’t just about making nice things...’.

Gallery label, May 2019

© Tracey Emin

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25/30
artworks in 60 years

Untitled (Floor/Ceiling)

Rachel Whiteread, Untitled (Floor/Ceiling)  1993

Untitled (Floor/Ceiling) is a rubber cast of a floor and a ceiling of a small room. Whiteread has explained that ‘the material is the same for both pieces. It is seemingly a different colour because of the density of the material.’ By laying the two pieces next to each other on the gallery floor, Whiteread emphasises the absence of the walls. Space for a person to occupy is removed. This foregrounds the absence of a human body, and by extension evokes the idea of mortality.

Gallery label, May 2019

© Rachel Whiteread

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26/30
artworks in 60 years

Dako

Tomma Abts, Dako  2016

Abts began this work as a painting. While working on it she realised she was most interested in the jagged lines which were emerging, so she abandoned the canvas and cast the composition in aluminium instead. The title comes from a dictionary of place names. Abts names all her paintings in this way. She also often uses first names from East Frisia, northwest Germany, in reference to her German heritage.

Gallery label, May 2019

© Tomma Abts

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27/30
artworks in 60 years

Untitled no. 6

Tomma Abts, Untitled no. 6  2008

Abts works intuitively, without a fixed idea of the finished work. She mainly makes paintings that involve a long process of layering and readjustment. Drawings such as this are more spontaneous. She sets herself certain limitations and chooses particular colours, and then is guided only by the internal logic of each composition. Critic and curator Bob Nickas has described the result as ‘an image of the process of thought, the triangulation of the hand and the eye and the mind’.

Gallery label, May 2019

© Tomma Abts

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28/30
artworks in 60 years

Just Waiting

Tracey Emin, Just Waiting  2014

In this drawing Emin examines her relationship with her own body by looking at how the (female) body changes over time. Throughout her career, Emin has exposed aspects of her own, often intimate, experience in a way that is vulnerable and defiant at the same time. She does not shy away from difficult personal experiences. She has commented: ‘Much of my work has been about memory, for example, memories of violence and pain… I’m trying to draw love, but love isn’t always gentle… Being an artist isn’t just about making nice things...’.

Gallery label, May 2019

© Tracey Emin

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29/30
artworks in 60 years

Enfleshings II

Helen Chadwick, Enfleshings II  1989

This work is part of a series of lightboxes called ‘Meat Lamps’. The artist used photographs of meat, including offal, combined with other materials. The works confront us with the reality of the human body as physical matter. Our ideas and feelings are generated within our flesh, not from some detached and superior position in relation to it.

Gallery label, May 2019

© Estate of Helen Chadwick

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30/30
artworks in 60 years

Art in this room

Achæan
Bridget Riley Achæan 1981
Karl Lagerfeld Bean Counter
Anthea Hamilton Karl Lagerfeld Bean Counter 2012
The Generosity
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye The Generosity 2010
2016
Maggi Hambling 2016 2016
I Could Feel You
Tracey Emin I Could Feel You 2014
Belshazzar’s Feast, the Writing on Your Wall
Susan Hiller Belshazzar’s Feast, the Writing on Your Wall 1983–4

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