TIME AND PLACE:
Doors: daily 10.00–18.00
@ Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG
Since William Hogarth satirised the Georgian craze for gin, artists have explored Britain’s relationship with alcohol – as social lubricant, or as factor in social or family breakdown. This fascinating display examines the role of alcohol in British art from the 19th century to modern day.
The display contrasts two works from Tate’s collection; George Cruikshank’s Worship of Bacchus, a critical panting illustrating in one huge canvas the effects of drink on society, and Gilbert & George’s Drinking Sculpture, a wall-mounted montage of photographs (progressively blurred) of drinkers in a London bar.
Cutting across time, generations, class and gender, reflecting changing tastes and attitudes, alcohol and its consequences are shown to exert a catalytic effect. Never have the nation’s drinking habits been so captivating.