New Turner hang at Tate
May 14 2012
I went recently to the Turner extension at Tate Britain to admire their new hang. If you haven't already been, go too. It's a triumph. For the first time in many years, the galleries have a cohesive narrative, and highlight not only the best of Turner's work in an engaging and fresh manner, but also reveal a number of new discoveries. An example is the above reclining nude, cleaned for the first time, and, wonderfully, hung unframed in all its unfinished glory (you can see a photo of it before cleaning here - if Francis Bacon had painted that, it would sell for £50m). Gone, thankfully, are the curious 19th C 'Romantic' works by lesser painters that the Tate had shoved into the Turner galleries during their renovations. And gone too is the mawkish shade of green that dominated the rooms, now replaced by cool blues and greys. It's reassuring to see Tate doing something so well. Now we just need to hope that the cohesiveness of the hang is not disturbed in future years, as happens too often.