Lisa Brice at the Tate Britain

Lisa Brice's exhibition currently on display at the Tate Britain is a stunning collection of works that really highlight Brice's stunning works that revolve around the female form. Lisa Brice is a South African born artist currently living in London. Her paintings are inspired by her early life in South Africa as well as her life in London and time spent in Trinidad over the past 20 years.

Brice's paintings in this exhibition are a blend of new and old works that explore the historical art tradition of the female nude. Brice's depictions of women show them in their downtime, relaxing as they would when they're alone and no-one is watching. They show women lounging casually, lost in day dream, or getting ready for a night out; she shows women performing normal everyday rituals, some that viewers will recognise and develop a very personal feel for.

Brice's work is especially important as it reverses the standard portrayal of women in paintings by male artists, who show women as unachievable sex goddesses in order to please the male eye, while Brice shows them as realistic women that many can relate to. She doesn't sugar coat her portrayals and she doesn't portray them as passive creatures that are there simply to appease the viewers or other figures that may be hidden behind the scenes of the painting. The poses and movements of the women in the paintings will seem slightly familiar to some viewers as they recognise the light nods to historical art sources found in the works of Picasso, Manet, Degas and Vallotton, as well as John Everett Millais' 'Ophelia' which is on display as part of the Tate's own collection.

The personal nature of Brice's paintings forces viewers to feel more like an intruder in the lives of these women rather than the usual guest that has been invited in to absorb and scrutinise every detail for their own pleasure. The exhibition while beautiful and completely pleasing to the eye, with it's beautiful deep blue colour palette, verges on the edge of uncomfortable for viewers.

The women in Brice's paintings do as they please on their own terms and for their own sense of pleasure. They appear to be un-phased by their appearances, as they go about their lives, not minding that they might have more flesh than some might prefer, or that their breasts are no longer petite and perky. Brice shows natural women with nothing no hide or be ashamed of, spreading this message into the subconscious of viewers. This exhibition is truly a beautiful collection of works that displays a secret, sneaky glimpse into the lives of the women on display.


Lisa Brice’s exhibition, which is part of the Art Now series, is on display until 27th August at The Tate Britain. More information may be found here.