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Liverpool Covid key workers take centre stage in new Tate exhibition

American artist Aliza Nisenbaum is capturing the city’s key workers on canvas at Tate Liverpool this winter.

The exhibition, Nisenbaum’s first solo show in Europe, will feature new and existing work including portraits of Liverpool people who have been at the heart of the response to the Coronavirus crisis.

She painted the new pieces in August, using technology to bond with her subjects remotely, and the finished works will be displayed as two large-scale group portraits and 11 individual paintings.

Nisenbaum explains: “I’ve spoken online with 25 people who work in the healthcare sector in Liverpool. These conversations have provided a fascinating window into each person’s life as a key responder during the Covid pandemic.

“I’ve been deeply moved by these stories of service and selflessness, and of resilience through teamwork and humour. I’m very excited to create a tribute to each individual I’ve met through painting.”

Morning Security Briefing at the Minneapolis Institute of Art 2017. Credit Aliza Nisenbaum

The New York-based artist, born in Mexico City in 1977, is best known for her paintings that often focus on members of local communities, and her work is Influenced by the Mexican mural movement – including artists like Diego Rivera - and its depiction of social history.

She has previously shown work in Glasgow, and last year she created an Art of the Underground public commission in London which was showcased at Brixton tube station.

Aliza Nisenbaum’s work will be on show at Tate Liverpool from December 15 to June 27 2021.

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