William Blake

27Feb09

Follow this link to view my review of the William Blake exhibition at Tate Liverpool. Tate Website
27 February 09
Tate 08 Series: William Blake- The River of Life
Tate Liverpool
Tate Liverpool, Liverpool
12 December 2008 – 29 March 2009
Venue
Tate Liverpool
Location
North West England
Over recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in the life and works of William Blake. Here is a man, born over 250 years ago, who still has something relevant and special to say to a contemporary audience.

This exhibition allows us to build on our experience of his work and shows another facet after the excellent show at the Whitworth Art Gallery last year.

Blake, it seems to me, was our Renaissance man; a painter, printmaker, poet and philosopher. You might not like all of his work, I find some of it quite hard to relate to, but he was an excellent draughtsman and there is something of genius in his line. He seems at times to be a precursor of so much that has been made since. His visions of the afterlife seem to me a delightful counterpoint to the science fiction paintings on show as you enter the Glenn Brown exhibition on the fourth floor of Tate Liverpool. Blake was largely ignored in his lifetime.

I find his radical religious views difficult but here was someone who helps us to analyse the world around us. He encourages us to think about how small we are, and how the universe is so vast. A timely reminder in our celebrity obsessed society. He had his own belief system, he made himself one of society’s outsiders, which over the past 250 years has made him a major influence on pop movements, musicians, writers, artists and thinkers.

This exhibition brings together an exciting body of works from the Tate’s collection, showing the links with John Milton, concerns with innocence and experience and the choices we have to make in life, the internal battles we face in our need to understand the world around us.

The Book of Job engravings are incredible.



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