Outrageous Fortune: Artists remake the Tarot

'The Hermit; by Suzanna Treister

Last week I was invited to the launch of the exhibition Outrageous Fortune: Artists Remake the Tarot. It is a Hayward Gallery touring exhibition from the Southbank Centre, London.

The work of seventy-eight artists is displayed, each one interpreting their version of a particular card from the classic Tarot de Marseilles deck. Originating in Italy in the 15th century, Tarot cards were used in most of Europe to play games. However, since the 18th century they are generally associated with divination.

The artists were allotted a card to depict in their own style and asked to create a new version for a contemporary tarot pack. Their work encompasses a variety of formal, conceptual, expressionist, literary or design-based approaches.

I particularly liked the strength of the image by Dawn Mellor, who interpreted the card The Hanged Man. It is called ‘Alex from A Clockwork Orange’ and has the face of Malcolm McDowell’s character Alex in full horror make-up. A row of dashes on the picture denotes the game of hangman is in the process of being played.

Also I thought the piece by Cedar Lewisohn depicting the card The Tower was poignant. It is called ‘La Maison Diev’ (The House of God).  Created with ink and photocopying, it portrays the moment the twin towers of New York came under attack.

Featured Artists are:
Jonathan Allen, Aaron Angell, Ed Atkins, Anna Barriball, Zoe Beloff, Manfredi Beninati, Juliette Blightman, Erik Blinderman, Pavel Braila, Paul Buck, Edwin Burdis, Montgomery Cantsin and Kat Harvey, Rachel Cattle, Nicolas Ceccaldi, Izumi Chiaraluce, Adam Chodzko, Keith Coventry, Cullinan / Richards, John Cussans, Tom Dale, Simon Davenport, Sara De Bondt, Arnaud Desjardin, Tatjana Doll, Ruth Ewan, Graham Fagan, Keith Farquhar, Michael Fullerton, Manuela Gernedel, Melanie Gilligan, Brian Griffiths, Susan Hiller, HIT (Lina Grumm and Annette Lux), Will Holder, Phillipa Horan, Kenneth Hunt, Candice Jacobs, Alan Kane, Scott King, Anja Kirchner and David Panos, Jonty Lees, Cedar Lewisohn, George Henry Longly, Fiona Mackay, Roger Malbert, Dawn Mellor, Jeremy Millar, Elinor Morgan, Fraser Muggeridge, Mike Nelson, Novel (Matt Williams and Alun Rowlands), Lugi Ontani, Anna Parkina, Katie Paterson, João Penalva, Perle Petit, Simon Popper, Manuel Reader, Dan Rees, James Richards and Thom Murphy, Hannah Rickards, Hannah Sawtell, Noah Sherwood, Jamie Shovlin, Lindsay Seers, Cally Spooner, Jemima Stehli, Jack Strange, Stephen Sutcliffe, Emma Talbot, Alexis Marguerite Teplin, Nadia Thondrayen, Suzanne Treister, Raisa Veikkola and Frida Alvinzi, Julie Verhoeven, Sophie von Hellerman, Tris Vonna-Michell in dialogue with Konst och teknik, Stuart Whipps, Rachel Withers and Cerith Wyn Evans.

This collection, curated by Andrew Hunt, is well worth viewing and will be showing at the Art and Design Gallery in Hatfield until 21st April 2012.

For further information please contact:
    UH Galleries on +44 (0) 1707 284290 or uhgalleries@herts.ac.uk
    Exhibition details:

UH Galleries, Art and Design Gallery, Hatfield
    Date: 24 February – 21 April 2012
Gallery Opening Times:
    Monday to Friday 9.30am–5.30pm.
    Saturday 9.30am – 3.30pm.