tue 28/01/2020

Rude Britannia: British Comic Art, Tate Britain | reviews, news & interviews

Rude Britannia: British Comic Art, Tate Britain

Rude Britannia: British Comic Art, Tate Britain

Satire, bawdy humour and the winsomely absurd in an exhibition lacking coherence

Gerald Scarfe: Thatcher as a 'ptorydactyl', 1989copyright: Gerald Scarfe

Satire, like roast beef, is what Brits are famous for and this exhibition takes us right back to its earliest days in graphic print. In the 1600s, Dutch allegorical prints were adapted by British printmakers to comment on contemporary issues and one of the first examples in this exhibition is a print that illustrates the purportedly cruel and barbarous treatment meted out by the Dutch to the English at the outset of the Anglo-Dutch war - so it’s hardly rib-tickling stuff.

The works that are of figures and events that have remained a part of our living memory have lost little of their impact

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