Incoming Tate Modern director Frances Morris delivers on her promise to include more women artists in the gallery’s permanent collection. The new Switch House building which opens to the public on Friday 17th June, expands the display space by 60% and includes a roster of international, diverse and engaging artists with an agenda promoting equality. The new building houses a free collection with more photography, film and performance.
More work by women artists is on show both in the solo rooms, where 50% of the displays are by women, and in acquisitions of major works of contemporary art. Highlights include work by Rebecca Horn, Rachel Whiteread and Sheela Gowda.
At a press launch yesterday, Morris said the representation of women artists had “substantially increased”. “There was a huge deficit in our collecting prior to 2000. When we opened 17% of the art on display was by women. Now 50% of the solo rooms are works by women such as Phyllida Barlow and Louise Bourgeois.”
In another first the gallery dedicates permanent space, The Tanks, to live art, the first museum in the world to do this.
The opening this weekend has a vibrant programme of live performance and special events. New commissions will be performed alongside works from Tate’s collection, running daily from Friday 17 June for three weeks. Watch out for Tino Sehgal’s gallery attendants bursting into song, and Tania Bruguera’s police on horseback!
The result of a targeted acquisition programme, the impact of this brave and engaging collection with a focus on gender equality and diversity cannot be underestimated.
Welcome to the future.