These extraordinary works by British artist Cecily Brown, of wrecked ships, frantic and prone bodies, carefully illuminate the tensions between the past and the present.
She takes inspiration from Delacroix’s shipwreck paintings, as well as one of the most feted paintings in the world; Géricault’s, The Raft of the Medusa (1818–19).
Of course, these drawings also push to the forefront of our minds the images we see everyday on our screens, of shipwrecked refugees attempting, and failing, to make their own sea voyages.
At this moment it seems more important than ever for galleries to show work that draws our attention to images and stories that we think we know so well and need not or cannot, look at or think of again.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition, Cecily Brown: Shipwreck Drawings at Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, 17 November – 15 April 2018.