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100 Figures: The Unseen Art of Quentin Blake

An unprecedented insight into Quentin Blake's private practice as a figurative artist.

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"It shows a superb side to Blake that we had no idea existed." Londonist

Portrayal of the body and gesture is the foundation of Quentin Blake's genius as an illustrator. His lifelong, private practice as a figurative artist has run alongside his world-famous work but has, until now, remained hidden.

The exhibition features large-scale pieces created between 1950-2000, never seen before. This remarkable body of work reveals Blake's experimentation with materials, a more sculptural treatment of form and sensuous use of broad strokes.

When in 1957 I came to the end of my university studies, I would take the train to London once or twice a week to attend a life-drawing class at Chelsea School of Art… when I got home, I would find myself drawing invented figures in invented surroundings. There were two significant results of this experience. One was that I seem to have been able to illustrate figures in any position without reference ever since. The second direction was into oil painting… it has been important and valuable to me to have that too as part of my experience of art.” Quentin Blake

The exhibition is accompanied by a 128-page book published by Tate in association with House of Illustration.