Art Now: France-Lise McGurn - Sleepless, Tate Britain - ★★ - Until September 8, 2019


This installation is apparently named after the film, Sleepless In Seattle, and the effects of drug-fueled clubbing. Alas, there’s nothing euphoric about the work itself. It is difficult to find many positives here, and the curator hasn’t helped by overloading the work with ideas such as "notions of sexuality, ecstasy, loss and consciousness." Still, quite imaginative use has been made of the high-ceilinged space. In it the artist has hung unframed/untitled canvases and has also painted on the walls. However, there is no continuity from one to the other and the relationship appears awkward. The paintings on canvas are more focused and complete, presenting an enjoyable energy about the lines and mark-making. Colours are often exuberant, but the figures suggest fashion illustration or retail design rather than fine art. The subjects, male and female forms, are discreetly naked and often overlapping. McGurn has used diverse references: Picasso, Matisse and even Michelangelo come to mind. But, unfortunately, so also does sexist Pop artist Allen Jones. Indeed, the resemblance between McGurn's figures and colour palette and Jones' sometimes seems too close to be coincidental. On the other hand, it’s free so why not have a look!

Reviewed by A.L.


 Our score:  ☆ 

WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:

Until September 8, 2019
Daily: 10 am - 6 pm
Tate Britain
Nearest tube: Southwark
https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/france-lise-mcgurn

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