Walter Sickert was one of the most influential artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. An apprentice of Whistler and close associate of Degas, he engaged with the work of French artists of the time. Sickert in turn influenced many British painters up to the present day.
This exhibition will show how Sickert transformed the representation of everyday life, with his innovative approach to subject matter, radical compositions and the evocation of the materiality of existence in paint. It will explore the changing nature of his work – from an impressionistic approach in the 1880s to a pioneering use of photography in the 1930s – and how he returned over and over to locations and subjects, including his penetrating self-portraits.
His imagination was fuelled by news and current events such as the Camden Town Murders and newspaper photography, but also by popular culture – music halls, the stage, the rise of cinema and celebrity.
The show will be the first exhibition dedicated to him at Tate since 1960, and the largest retrospective of his work in London since the Royal Academy exhibition in 1992.