Art: Private View Dangerous Liaisons Tate Gallery

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The Independent Culture
Dangerous Liaisons Tate Gallery, London SW1

This year's annual reshuffle of the Tate's permanent collection includes two rooms hung with work under the title "Dangerous Liaisons": pairing the lives of two artists who had a personal as well as professional connection.

The first takes the French sculptor Auguste Rodin and English painter Gwen John. They met in 1903, soon after her arrival in Paris, and she became his model and mistress. They were together for 10 years before his interest in her faded. For a long time her work was overshadowed by her famous French lover and by her flamboyant brother, Augustus, but as the Tate's eight pictures show, she was quite a painter in her own right.

The second room is also devoted to a sculptor and a painter, though with a more resolved relationship both artistically and emotionally. Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth met in 1931, first exhibited together in 1932, married in 1936, and together became the twin engines of English modernism in the 1930s. They stayed together until 1951, during which years both made much of their best work, and indeed it seems remarkable that two such driven talents were able to live together for so long: so singular were they in their pursuit of their artistic goals.

Dangerous Liaisons, Tate Gallery, Millbank, London SW1 (0171-887 8000) to 11 Jul

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