Categories ArtPosted on

Matthew Tate at the Menier Gallery: Lost in Shadows

If there’s one thing that unifies illustrator Matthew Tate’s thought-provoking and diverse body of work, it’s the quality of mystery across all the disciplines in which he practises. Even the black and white landscapes in Vietnam seem steeped in a narrative that we, as observers, cannot quite penetrate. SEEN particularly liked the Vatican photographs in black and white, the monochrome lending these sacred spaces something of Hammer Horror, with the arm of a statue reaching out in supplication or blessing.

canada Matthew Tate

rome Matthew Tate

The triptych of prints ‘This Will Kill That’ that greets the viewer upon entering the gallery is outstanding. Inspired by the philosophies of Victor Hugo, the figures within hint at the mythic underpinnings of this essay, encapsulating drama and epic scope. SEEN also liked the Grief trilogy of prints which embodied the three stages of grief according to Buddhist ideals. Painted in ink and bleach, the pictures had a stark simplicity that resonated powerfully. Grief comes to us all, in one form or another.

THIS WILL KILL THAT 2 THIS WILL KILL THAT1 THIS WILL KILL THAT3

Another stand-out for SEEN was the blue tiger piece that Tate created during his residency at King Edward’s School, Witley. Using images and objects found in the V&A, Tate has extended their meaning, while at the same time shrouding them in something undefinable; a transformative act that seems infinite in its possibilities. Each observer brings their own interpretation, of course. As Degas said ‘Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.’ For SEEN, much of Tate’s work spoke to her on a personal level, being familiar with with Tipu’s Tiger from early childhood.

PEACOCK Stages of Grief (Anger)

I think the power of Tate’s vision lies in his use of story in the sense that his themes are universal (grief, history, landscape) but he brings a particular aesthetic appreciation of these images and therein lies the mystery of them. It seems an unconscious process yet SEEN wonders if that is not the purpose of art – to render the living world and its images in such a way that it connects to us on a conscious level while still retaining its inherent mystery.

Matthew Tate’s exhibition is on until the 8th April; another in a series of always interesting work going on at the Menier Gallery, in an area of London that is constantly evolving. SEEN will be watching Tate’s career with great interest.

www.meniergallery.co.uk

Menier Gallery
51 Southwark Street
London
SE1 1RU

Seen this week

Categories MusicPosted on

Freeman Releases ‘Lay On’

West London-based singer-songwriter and abstract artist, FREEMAN released his debut single on Catapult Records on the 22nd of September 2017. SEEN has been listening and enjoying the chilled-out vibe.

Categories DesignPosted on

Sculpture in the City, Art for Everyone

SEEN thoroughly enjoyed a preview of the 18 new artworks around the financial district’s square mile. Set up by The City of London in 2010, this excellent initiative expands its footprint every year, improving the area and proving that when people are happy, they work better.

Categories ArtPosted on

Alex Evans at the Foundry Gallery, Chelsea Quarter: LDF17

The astute reader will have noticed that SEEN loves art about London. There are many artists in this city who draw (pun intended) their inspiration from it, none more so than Alex Evans whose fractal renderings hint at the entropic nature of urban life and perhaps also our anxieties and isolation in the 21st century. His latest exhibition ‘Invisible Systems’ can be seen at the Foundry Gallery, tucked away off the King’s Road until 26th October.

2 thoughts on “Matthew Tate at the Menier Gallery: Lost in Shadows”

Comments are closed.