Now You See Us at the Tate Britain

11.06.2024
Caitlin McGarry

Now You See Us at the Tate Britain

11.06.2024
Caitlin McGarry

‘Now You See Us’ at Tate Britain explores the challenges and triumphs faced by women artists across 400 years. By defying societal norms and creating impactful artwork, these women aimed to prove their intellect to the men who scrutinised them. Thus, paving the way for future artists through their resilience and not allowing their creativity to be quashed.

Arranged chronologically, the show displays over 150 works by over 100 women artists. The exhibition first displays subjects deemed ‘acceptable’ for women to paint at the time, including portraits of other women, flowers and scenes of domesticity in pastel colour palettes. As the show continues, these works contrast with ‘taboo’ artwork depicting battles, nudity and men. The artists addressing these themes experimented with more intense, vibrant paints to make a bold statement.

With their talents often attributed to the teachings and influence of their husbands or fathers, ‘Now You See Us’ provides visitors with an intimate window into the trials and tribulations of the artists. Hung on a wall in one of the last rooms was a personal highlight. I found a 1905 class photo from Slade School of Fine Art, with women making up two-thirds of the year’s graduates very powerful. This visual representation that women have come a long way in gaining equal rights in the arts makes a perfect closing sentiment.

‘Now You See Us’ at Tate Britain, London. Until 18 October 2024