Ruin Lust at Tate Britain

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Azeville 2006 Tate © Jane and Louise Wilson, courtesy 303 Gallery, New York


Ruin Lust is the latest exhibition to grace Tate Britain. The collection of imagery on display aims to illustrate how ruins have fascinated both artists and the general public. It shows how ruins have been depicted in art as mournful, comic and even perverse.

Ranging from the 17th century to the modern day, it features more than 100 works by greats such as John Constable, J.M.W Turner, John Martin and Tacita Dean. In the 18th century, many artists, writers and architects became obsessed with travelling the country in search of appealing landscapes, many featuring ruined elements. These picturesque scenes subsequently found themselves the focus of many historic and highly regarded paintings.

The craze was so widespread that it was later satirised and mocked by the likes of Keith Arnatt, who photographed the juxtaposition of modern and historic elements at picturesque sites.

Exploring ruination through gradual decay, this transhistorical exhibition is curated by writer and critic Brian Dillon.

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Tate Britain

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