Art News

Renowned British Sense of Humor is on Display in a New London Exhibition at Tate Britain

LONDON (AP).- Some countries overthrow their politicians. Some endure them. In Britain, they just laugh at them. The renowned British sense of humor is on display in a new London exhibition that charts 300 years of the anarchic artistic spirit that produced the political satire of William Hogarth and “Spitting Image” — as well as the sheer silliness of Benny Hill. “Rude Britannia,” which opens Wednesday at the Tate Britain gallery, is a feast of irreverence and bad taste that asks whether there is a distinctively British sense of humor, and examines how humor is intertwined with the country’s cultural and political history. “This isn’t necessarily about ‘funny ha ha,” although there are jokes,” Tate Britain director Penelope Curtis said Monday. “It’s about how the comic is used to do things we can’t do in other ways. Often the comic artist is making a very serious point about something that can’t be said openly.” Curator Ma