Tate Modern has previewed the new Herzog & de Meuron,extension to the press and impressive is the only word I can use to describe its splendour. A 21st century cathedral for art, this structure will hold up for centuries to come.The building will officially open to the public on Friday 17 June.
The new Switch House building is by the same architects who designed the original conversion of the Bankside Power Station in 2000. It is the most important new cultural building to open in Britain since the British Library. The world’s most popular gallery of modern and contemporary art is now even more international, diverse and engaging.
Nicholas Serota Director of Tate said; “This is a landmark moment not only for Tate and London but also for the UK as a whole. When Tate Modernopened we never imagined the overwhelming response that it would generate from audiences. The need to grow swiftly moved from a desire to an imperative. In the new Tate Modern, with its huge variety of spaces, we are able to tell a story of modern art which is more international, more diverse and even more engaging. The opening signals a new era for modern and contemporary art in the UK”.
Tate’s collection of modern art has been completely transformed since Tate Modern first opened in 2000, in order to show that great art is made all over the world. As a result of a focused and intensive international acquisition programme over recent years, the collection is now far more diverse, including more photography, performance and film, as well as more work by women artists. The completely re-hung free collection displays feature 800 works by over 300 artists from over 50 countries from Chile to India, Russia and Sudan to Thailand.
The new displays tell a broader story of modern and contemporary art over the last 100 years. Seventy-five percent of the art on show has been acquired since Tate Modern first opened and half of the solo displays are dedicated to women artists. The works are displayed across the existing Boiler House and the newly built Switch House.
Frances Morris the new Director of Tate Modern said; “Over recent years we have been working hard to transform the international collection at Tate to reflect that great art is made all over the world. We are broadening the international remit both in contemporary and modern art; collecting and plotting the history of live art, film and new media; and, very importantly, buying and showing more work by women artists. I am delighted to now have the space to show this broader story of modern and contemporary art to the public for free”.
The Switch House increases the size of Tate Modern by 60% and offers a huge new variety of experiences for visitors. They range from the subterranean concrete Tanks, the first permanent museum spaces dedicated to live art, to new spaces for Learning and the magnificent panoramic public viewing terrace on Level 10, offering a completely new perspective on London. The Turbine Hall now becomes the central space of the museum. Much-loved masterpieces by Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko and Henri Matisse, are joined by recent acquisitions from around the world which open out the history of modernism.
London’s New Mayor Sadiq Kahn told Artlyst; “Growing London’s cultural sector is one of my core priorities as Mayor, so I’m delighted that the TateModern’s extraordinary new extension is now open. The Tate is an incredible success story, attracting millions of Londoners and visitors from all over the world. It is a shining example of the capital’s status as global leader in the arts, continually finding creative ways of supporting artists and reaching new audiences, as well as embracing innovation. I look forward to what the New Tate will bring, inspiring new audiences and adding to London’s huge cultural pull”.
Alas as with any museum someone has to pay the bills!
All Photos © P C Robinson artlyst 2016
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