The summer blockbusters are starting to get rolled out. And here’s a particularly exciting one, courtesy of the good people at Tate Liverpool. Sadly, though, it’s for next summer. But we think it’s worth waiting for.

We’re not quite sure what the Cultural Olympiad is about – nor particularly comfortable with the irony behind it: the white elephants of east London have sucked our culture coffers dry at a time when they’re already beleaguered. Still, when events like this happen – if not in its name, then at least timed to coincide with the hoopla – it would be churlish to complain. We only wonder whether it will be better than the fabled Merseyside Mist. Our guess is yes.

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 be inspired by classicism into his eighties. Tate Liverpool will bring together a collection of important later works by the three artists for a groundbreaking exhibition showing Turner and Monet in a contemporary light, for a change.

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.

Dr Christoph Grunenberg, Director of Tate Liverpool said: “Turner Monet Twombly will make Liverpool a focal point for visitors in the year of the Olympics. This will be a spectacular exhibition bringing together masterpieces drawn from important collections across the world and spanning three centuries. Seeing Turner’s late abstractions next to Monet’s Water Lilies and Twombly’s recent monumental flower paintings should provide an unparalleled visual feast. We are excited about staging such an ambitious exhibition in an important year for culture in the UK.”

Turner Monet Twombly
Tate Liverpool
22 June – 28 October 2012

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