Ever since I chose one of his pictures to copy for a school art & design project I’ve liked the richly coloured and uniquely proportioned portraits of Amadeo Modigliani. At the time his work jumped out at me from the library books as being original, bold and rebellious.
Evidently I wasn't the only person wanting to see this show and ok, the days between Christmas and New Year are going to be busy in any major London attraction. However the masses of shuffling heads through which I viewed the works somehow seemed fitting. The wealthy patrons who'd paid to have their portrait painted would be pleased to see how many people had come to see them.
Having only lived until the age of 35, this exhibition feels like it’s had to spread what Modigliani works it can get hold of a little thinly. Of the 11 rooms listed on the map, two are made up of the same large room with a dividing wall and one is a VR experience that failed to communicate whether it was worth also queuing for (I didn’t). Luckily though I’ve been newly freed from having to weigh up whether these well publicised temporary exhibitions are going to be worth the entry price, by virtue of a Tate membership, a Christmas present from my family.
I had in fact seen Female Nude from 1916, the very work I drew back in school, earlier in the year. It’s normally on display across town in the Courtauld Gallery at Somerset House. Seeing it alongside other Modigliani works, in a bigger, brighter room, literally shed new light on it. Oddly it seems less vibrant than I remembered it, especially compared to the other works in the room. Yet still it was far more dynamic than the black and white photocopy I'd stuck in my school sketch book!
The exhibition continues at the Tate Modern until 2 April 2018