A superb personal selection of works from the Tate Collection, chosen by Alex Katz, including works by George Stubbs, JMW Turner, Walter Sickert, Henri Rousseau, Francis Picabia, Chaim Soutine, Piet Mondrian, David Hockney and Marlene Dumas.
Developed in collaboration with Tate St Ives.
Poet Katrina Naomi was commissioned to write two poems based on works in the exhibitions for our Spotlight tours on 26 October and 4 January. You can read Katrina's poems below. You can download the poems at the bottom of this page.
City Night, after Alex Katz
Every office block has its wants,
opening windows to see past the black and grey
– the colours of the moon – to breathe in
the city’s taste: the fumes of beerish talk,
a park’s clean jasmine; the tang of laughter,
of shouts, of brakes; the sacrifice of trucks,
the modern jazz of trains.
In the absence of stars,
I want to break the code of a skyscraper’s lights –
panes spelling letters in a language I don’t speak,
where bricks and steel focus their dreams
into fluorescent invitations to their own kind,
since buildings can’t choose who they meet
and many are lonely at night.
Give Me Black
'I paint the white as well as the black,
and the white is just as important' – Franz Kline
Here’s my signature three hairs free of the ferrule
No longer mere wood tin and brush
I drink paint relax on white with a smooth stroke
then something kicks in a love of destruction
I wreck myself painting energy fasterfasterfaster
struggling to brag onto the canvas a frenzy of black
before I’m done drowning
in turps back among the smaller brushes
for I’m big Whoever said size doesn’t matter
lies Yes I’m big Transatlantic I’m for chaos
for drama for loud I scream oil
And if I don’t give you emotion