After six years and 20 million visitors, Tate Modern is to abandon its contraversial thematic arrangement of its permanent collection galleries in favour of a new concept.
All 48 galleries devoted to the display of the permanent collection will be rehung around an entirely new concept. The rehang, to be unveiled in May 2006.
Since Tate Modern opened in 2000 the Tate collection of modern and contemporary art has been arranged in four thematic groups; landscape, still life, the nude and history painting, each of which spans the last hundred years.
The rehang will feature four wings (on Levels 3 and 5 of Tate Modern) each of which will revolve around a central display that focuses on a key moment in the history of twentieth-century art. The periods chosen spring from Minimalism, Cubism, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. In each wing a range of displays will explore how these movements both reflect earlier artistic practice and shape and inform subsequent developments and contemporary art.
There will continue to be direct dialogues between contemporary art and the past with an introductory room for each suite bringing together a striking pairing of landmark works by two artists from different generations. The rehang will also include a special display drawn from the UBS Art Collection, which will augment areas of art practice, such as photography, which are not currently well represented in the Tate Collection.
More than 40 per cent of the works in the new displays will never have been shown at Tate Modern before including icons such as Whaam! by Roy Lichtenstein and around thirty recently acquired works by artists including Francis Picabia and Anish Kapoor. Some 2 per cent of works on display will be newly acquired and will include major rooms by Tacita Dean, the Guerrilla Girls, Christian Marclay, John Baldessari and Cildo Meireles.
In addition, UBS's support will enable Tate Modern to programme additional events and displays which will take their inspiration from the collection and aim to draw in new audiences. The programme includes a major live event each May; bi-monthly live performance art events (building upon the success of earlier performances by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang, DV8 and Merce Cunningham); focused displays and education and interpretation initiatives such as a dedicated family space, a timeline on the public concourses and touch screen computers linked to Tate's online art database.
"UBS have been important supporters of Tate Modern since 2000 and we are delighted to announce this exciting and unique partnership," said Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota. "This level of support and commitment, over a three-year period, will enable us to generate public interest in the collection in a way we have not been able to before.
"The collaboration with UBS enables Tate Modern to focus on its collection in new and different ways and reach out to new audiences through additional programming and interpretation initiatives."
In a recent survey of visitors to Tate Modern, 53 per cent gave the collection displays as the principal reason for their visit.
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