Look Again: Visibility

Johny Pitts


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Tate Publishing
3 November 2022
ISBN: 9781849768252
48 pages

From the publisher

Look Again is a new series of short books from Tate Publishing, opening up the conversation about British art over the last 500 years, and exploring what art has to tell us about our lives today. Written by leading voices from the worlds of literature, art and culture, each book sheds new light on some of the most well-known, best-loved and thought-provoking artworks in the national collection, and asks us to look again.

Author, photographer and broadcaster Johny Pitts examines the notion of 'visibility' in Tate's galleries, asking who gets to be seen - and why.

The well-known faces of our best-loved paintings hang visible on the walls of Tate - but look beyond and you will also see the 'invisible' figures in the background whose stories have been obscured by history, hidden in plain sight. And yet, these stories belong to those on whom the galleries depend the most: standing guard in the corners, serving in our cafes and cleaning in the early mornings. Featuring original sketches by Tate staff that respond to works from Britain's national collection of art, Look Again: Visibility asks us to bear witness to figures who have long been overlooked by a system that profits from their labour while simultaneously dismissing it as 'unskilled' - and suggests that perhaps the way to reach a fuller understanding of our history is to start looking at it through new eyes.