Gauguin: Maker of Myth brings more than 100 of French artist's works to Tate Modern exhibition

By Mark Sheerin Published: 19 October 2010

A colourful painting of a dark-skinned nude on a bed
Paul Gauguin, Nevermore O Tahiti (1897). Oil on canvas.© Courtauld Gallery, London
Exhibition: Gauguin: Maker of Myth, Tate Modern, London, until January 16 2011

Despite the cost of tickets, Tate Modern are already warning of lengthy queues at the box office for the first Gauguin show in London for more than half a century.

But with more than 100 works from all around the world, including some of the best known paintings in modern art, a price per unit count would still suggest it's a bargain.

As a one-time stockbroker, Gauguin might have been surprised to watch demand to see his work climb so high, so fast since the first announcement of this exhibition.

And yet in a fully-globalised, Google-mapped world, the French artist still brings with him a flavour of the exotic which is hard to come by in 2010.

Contemporary art has its share of self-mythologists, but mystical, spiritual meanings are more apparent in a work like Vision of the Sermon than at, say, last week’s Frieze Art Fair.

As for undiscovered primitive societies, those are very thin on the ground today. The South Seas may be easier to reach, in theory, but the world of these paintings is gone forever, assuming it was ever there.

Open 10am-6pm (10pm Friday and Saturday). Admission £13.50/£10. See Culture24 tomorrow (October 20) for our review.

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