Alice in process…

Instead of the question “Who is Alice?” there are now paths leading to what Alice might come to be…

4 Nov 2011

Alice at Tate Liverpool




Alice Pleasance Liddell, 1968, Kent Fine Art, New York



"The starting point for the exhibition is Carroll’s original manuscript, written in 1864. The exhibition will offer a rare opportunity for visitors to view Carroll’s own drawings, photographs and photographic equipment, alongside Victorian Alice memorabilia, programmes from early stage adaptations and John Tenniel’s preliminary drawings for the first edition of the novel. Work from Gabriel Rossetti and Sir John Everett Millais will also feature, in addition to paintings by William Holman Hunt and Arthur Hughes, who were referenced in Carroll’s diaries.

Surrealist artists from the 1930’s onwards were drawn into the fantastical world of Wonderland and from the 1960’s through to the 1970’s Carroll’s tales prompted conceptual artists to explore language and its relationship to perception. The Alice in Wonderland exhibition will also showcase an exciting selection of contemporary art which will demonstrate the continuing artistic relevance of Carroll’s novels.

Visitors will have the opportunity to see works from Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, Peter Blake and Yoyoi Kusama. Pieces by Anna Gaskell, Annelies Strba and Torsten Lauschmann will explore the journey from childhood to adulthood; language, meaning and nonsense, scale and perspective and perception and reality. Accompanying the exhibition will be a full colour publication with contributions by Dame Gillian Beer, Carol Mavor, Christoph Schulz, Edward Wakeling and Alberto Manguel."


Annelies Strba, Nyima 2009


Marina Warner

found at the guardian


"No word exists for imaginary characters such as Hamlet, or Frankenstein and his Creature, who have developed autonomous life, leaping off the stage or out of a book, who add to the variety of human personalities we all know and offer us compass bearings. Of all such figments, the most recognisable must be Alice, the little girl questor at the heart of Lewis Carroll's two classic stories, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (1871).

Alice in Wonderland
Tate Liverpool
Starts 4 November 2011
Until 29 January 2012
Venue website


It's perhaps surprising that an art gallery, rather than a library, is holding a huge survey exhibition about Alice, but then Carroll's creation has been and still is the inspiration of artists, photographers, theatrical designers, animators, film-makers. The new Tate Liverpool show explores this territory, from the author's own rarely seen manuscript illustrations and marvellously evocative biographical materials (Carroll's perceptive and often lyrical photographs, works of art by his pre-Raphaelite friends) to the Surrealists, for whom Alice became a cherished myth.

The Surrealist movement is represented by some of the most potent works in the exhibition: Salvador Dalí's illustrated edition of Alice, and the finest painting in Dorothea Tanning's oeuvre, the eerie Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, with sunflowers bursting colossal tentacles around the little girl with her hair on end in spikes of flame. The Surrealist legacy is still very fertile, in the context of a growing return to myth, fairytale and romanticism.

Alice is the prototype of wise child and naive innocent – as seen in the vision not only of such artists as Peter Blake and Graham Ovenden, but of their successors in disquiet, Annelies Štrba and Alice Anderson, practitioners of the contemporary uncanny who give a new feminist twist to the heroine. Alice has grown older and more knowing than her original model, and turned into the receptacle of dreams, a femme enfant with whom women artists strongly identify: the knowledge you are Alice as strong as the longing for her."



CURATOR'S INTERVIEW

"Rounding off our coverage of the Tate Liverpool’s Alice in Wonderland exhibition, here’s a video interview with co-curator Christop Schulz that gives some tantalizing glimpses of the artwork on display." Found at LCSNA blog


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