Tate Britain’s latest exhibition, ‘Impressionists in London – French artists in exile 1870-1904’, would be as much at home in a museum as in a gallery. My companion wanted more information about the brush-strokes, but markontour was happy to explore the social history of late nineteenth century London through the medium of some wonderful paintings inspired by fog. I wonder if a modern-day Monet is painting Delhi, Beijing, or even diesel-blackened London?
The best bit of the Tate Britain’s compelling ‘Artists and Empire’ exhibition comes right at the end, in the ‘Legacies of Empire’ room. Here, Hew Locke’s clever guerilla art sees him adorn a statue of Bristol’s founding father, Edward Colston, in cheap plastic gold trinkets, a modern equivalent of the tat that imperial traders exchanged for slaves. For, as Locke explains in an accompanying Restoration, Colston and Bristol’s wealth was built on human trafficking.