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Turner from the Tate: The Making of a Master" opens at the Art Gallery of South Australia
J.M.W. Turner, Britain, 1775–1851, Scarborough town and castle: morning:boys catching crabs, c.1810, London, watercolour on paper, 68.5 x 101.5 cm;Gift from the collection of the late Mrs S.M. Crabtree by her children Rosalind,Robert, Richard and John assisted by the Roy and Marjory Edwards Bequest Fund and the Art Gallery of South Australia Foundation to commemorate the Gallery’s 125th anniversary 2006.

ADELAIDE.- The Art Gallery of South Australia hosts a major exhibition of the work of J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851). Turner from the Tate: The Making of a Master celebrates the artistic development of one of Britain’s most acclaimed artists through a survey of some of his most celebrated oil paintings and watercolours, as well as many works never before seen in Australia.

Drawn from the finest and most comprehensive collection of his work, the Turner Bequest, held at Tate Britain in London, this exhibition presents the full range of Turner’s ambitions, critical triumphs and controversies.

Displaying over 100 works of art, Turner from the Tate charts the full range of Turner’s creative output – from a topographical view of Oxford made by the artist at age thirteen through to the atmospheric visions made in the years before his death, such as Sun Setting over a Lake (c.1845) or Mercury Sent to Admonish Aeneas (1850). The exhibition explores his fascination with landscape and light, as well as his preoccupation with man’s place within the modern industrial world. While Turner’s early paintings combined great historical themes with inspired visions of nature, his subsequent experimentation with capturing the effects of light led him towards the dissolution of forms.

Art Gallery of South Australia Director, Nick Mitzevich said ‘Turner from the Tate marks a return of grand international exhibitions to the Art Gallery of South Australia. We are indebted to the extraordinary generosity of Tate, in particular to Sir Nicholas Serota, Director of Tate, and Penelope Curtis, Director of Tate Britain, for agreeing to tour such an exhibition to Australia.’

The exhibition also provides a rare opportunity to bring together the ‘Australian Turners’– those paintings held in state collections including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, National Gallery of Victoria and the Art Gallery of South Australia’s own watercolours, Scarborough town and castle: morning: boys catching crabs (c.1810) and Alnwick Castle (c.1829). Our understanding of these works will be enriched by seeing them in conjunction with Turner’s preliminary studies.

Turner from the Tate: The Making of a Master has been organised by Tate in association with Art Exhibitions Australia and the Art Gallery of South Australia. The exhibition has been curated by eminent Turner scholar Ian Warrell with support from Art Gallery of South Australia, Curator of European and North American Art, Jane Messenger.

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