Auguries Of Innocence
“A dog starvd at his Masters Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State…”
-- William Blake, Auguries of Innocence
Lately, we’ve been thinking about the artist and poet William Blake. He looms large over this moment. With his blockbuster show at the Tate Britain, he seems to be a fitting touchstone to highlight the new strain of Romanticism that runs through much of today’s figurative painting.
The ten painters in this exhibition were presented with the idea of William Blake as an organizing principle. Blake’s poem, for which this show lifts its title, tracks the fate of innocence in a corrupt world. It provides a unifying context for a varied group of painters who depict deeply human figures emblematic of a world, like Blake’s, where vice sits side by side with virtue and mankind is on the verge of chaos.