JMW Turner, Peace - Burial at Sea exh1842, Tate, 2011
JMW Turner, Peace - Burial at Sea exh1842, Tate, 2011

Turner Monet Twombly – Tate Liverpool
22 June – 28 October 2012
£13.50/£10.00

Update: The exhibition includes five important Monet water lily paintings, two of which have never been shown before in Britain.
The Water-Lily Pond c1917-19 lent by the Albertina, Vienna, and Water Lilies 1916-19, lent by Fondation Beyeler, Riehen, Basel are the works which will go on show for the first time in the UK. They will join three other Monet water-lily paintings in the exhibition: Water Lilies 1916 from The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; Water Lilies 1907 from Göteborgs Konstmuseum; and Water Lilies after 1916, on loan from the National Gallery to the Tate Collection. This will be the first time that five of Monet’s water lilies have been brought together in the UK for over a decade.

JMW Turner (1775-1851) and Claude Monet (1840-1926) produced some of their most stunning and experimental works late in life. Cy Twombly (b.1928) continues to do so into his eighties. In the summer of 2012, Tate Liverpool will bring together a collection of important later works by the three artists for a groundbreaking exhibition.

Claude Monet, Waterlillies, 1907, © Gothenburg Museum of Art, Sweden
Claude Monet, Waterlillies, 1907, © Gothenburg Museum of Art, Sweden

All three artists have been considered radical painters in their time. They met with criticism for pushing the boundaries of the conventions of painting. The exhibition examines not only the art historical links and affinities between the artists, but suggests common characteristics and motivations underlying their late style. The exhibition will explore their shared fascination with light, landscape, the sublime and mythology as well as the painterly qualities of their work, whether as makers of figurative or abstract images.

Displaying over 60 works, the exhibition will treat each artist in considerable depth, with rooms dedicated to each individual artist in addition to rooms juxtaposing the works of two, or all three, of the artists. Works by Monet and Twombly will be drawn from museums and private collections across the world, while works from Tate’s Turner Bequest will be supplemented by loans from American museums.

Turner’s The Parting of Hero and Leander (exhibited 1837) will be presented alongside Twombly’s work of the same title, a theme he has addressed on two occasions. Paintings of Venice by Monet and Turner will be contrasted with boat sculptures and paintings by Twombly, revealing themes of mortality and mourning. Examples of Monet’s water lilies,
Turner’s paintings of the lake at Petworth and Twombly’s recent paintings of blooms, never before seen in this country, will also be displayed.

Cy Twombly, Quattro Stagionia: Antunno, © Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly, Quattro Stagionia: Antunno, © Cy Twombly

Turner Monet Twombly will allow Turner and Monet to be seen within a contemporary context, while demonstrating the strong lure of classicism in the painting and sculpture of Twombly. The interest Monet held in the work of Turner is well documented; however, the passion that Twombly has for both these artists has never been fully examined. For those already familiar with the artists’ work, it will be a revelation; for new audiences, it is a fascinating introduction.
Turner Monet Twombly is organised by Moderna Museet, Stockholm (8 October 2011 – 15 January 2012) in collaboration with Tate Liverpool and Staatsgalerie Stuttgart (11 February – 28 May 2012). The exhibition is curated by Jeremy Lewison, formerly Tate Director of Collections and now an independent curator, with Jo Widoff, Assistant Curator, Moderna Museet.