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Tate Britain opens British Art exhibition

BP Walk through British Art, open from 14 May, will comprise around 500 artworks over a newly configured sequence of over 20 galleries. The displays include works by major artists such as Francis Bacon, John Constable, William Hogarth, Thomas Gainsborough, George Stubbs, J.M.W. Turner, Gwen John, Stanley Spencer, L.S. Lowry, John Everett Millais, Bridget Riley, Damien Hirst, David Hockney, and Rachel Whiteread.

Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy 1970-1 David Hockney born 1937 Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1971
Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy 1970-1 David Hockney born 1937 Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1971
This display offers an extensive survey of art in Britain over the past 500 years. As it unfolds room by room, visitors will encounter well known favourites from The Cholmondeley Ladies c.1600–10, Sir Joshua Reynolds’s Colonel Acland and Lord Sydney: The Archers 1769 and Lucian Freud’s Girl with a Kitten 1947, to works made more recently such as Jake and Dinos Chapman’s The Chapman Family Collection 2002 and Chris Ofili’s No Woman, No Cry 1998 and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s 10pm Saturday 2012. These will be interspersed with less familiar artists including Mary Beale (1633–1699), George Dawe (1781–1829), Nathaniel Hone (1831–1917), Mary Sargent Florence (1857–1954), Evelyn Dunbar (1906–1960) and Jann Haworth (born 1942).

The new chronological approach offers a fresh perspective highlighting surprising juxtapositions of art created within a few years of each other but rarely associated. An early Gainsborough landscape hangs side by side with Hogarth’s satires. The frolicking female nudes of Alma Tadema’s A Favourite Custom 1909, the epitome of Victorian revivalism, are seen next to Walter Sickert’s gritty modernist icon La Hollandaise 1906. Often separated when hung by movement or genre, the chronological presentation allows a more neutral view of the range of art being produced at any one historical moment to emerge. www.tate.org.uk