The critically acclaimed retrospective of Amadeo Modigliani’s work was chosen by the Art Appreciation group for its spring visit, writes Jenny Ford.
Tate Modern is a stunning, exciting gallery which is a magnet for the young. The huge spaces and walls are perfect for modern art and Modigliani’s pictures and sculptures are superbly displayed.
He moved to Paris aged 21 and came under the influence of many other artists working there in the early 20th century, particularly Picasso, of whom there is a small portrait in the exhibition. Modigliani experimented with cubism but never moved far from his style of almond-shaped eyes, elongated limbs and long necks. Many of his figurative paintings, including the beautiful nudes, have blank eyes, which is unsettling for the viewer.
His initial desire was to be a sculptor and a small room contains a selection of his enigmatic heads mounted on plinths. Towards the end of his life he started to experiment with landscapes and there is one charming picture of Cagnes clearly influenced by his knowledge of Cezanne’s work.
Modigliani died aged 35 after a life of illness and addiction but his artistic legacy is substantial and this excellent exhibition is a testament to his skill.
There was time for a wander through the rooms housing the permanent exhibition. One member was excited to see the pile of bricks so controversially acquired by the Tate many years ago. Tate Modern delights and baffles in equal measure.