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Frieze Art Fair London 2012 supported the Outset Art Fund for Tate.

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Frieze Art Fair London 2012 supported the Outset Contemporary Fund for Tate.

David Franchi,  2nd November 2012

“a charitable foundation focused on supporting new art”

Nicholas Hlobo, Balindile, 2012 © ph. by Linda Nylind, courtesy of Linda Nylind/ Frieze

Frieze Art Fair London 2012 has supported the Outset Frieze Fair for Tate Collection. The Frieze Foundation, instead, has presented a consistent programme of Talks, Artists’ commissions, Film and Music projects.

With Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover as Directors – also founders – Frieze Art Fair London 2012 was arranged with the Main Gallery, Focus and Frame sections, the newly inaugurated Frieze Masters and the Sculpture Park.

This is the tenth year of the unique partnership between Outset, Frieze and Tate. Based on the generosity of Outset Fund, a charitable foundation focused on supporting new art, the fund enables Tate to buy important works at the fair for the national collection.

Directed by Candida Gertler and Yana Peel, the Outset Contemporary Art Fund is a philanthropic organisation dedicated to helping new art by bringing private funding from their patrons, partners and trustees to public museums and art projects.

With a fund that has totalled over £1million over the duration of the partnership, 90 works by 60 significant international artists have been collected since 2003.

The Fund is organized and financed by Outset Contemporary Art Fund and supported by Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts. The donors to Outset have a particular interest in enabling Tate’s acquisition of emerging and international art.

Each year Tate invites two international curators to work as part of the selection panel for the Fund. The 2012 Outset/Frieze Art Fair Fund guest selectors were: guest selectors Mami Kataoka, Chief Curator of Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, and Franklin Sirmans, Chief Curator of Contemporary Art, LACMA. They were joined by Tate curators Ann Gallagher, Head of Collections, British Art; Frances Morris, Head of Collections, International Art; Tanya Barson, Curator, International Art and Clarrie Wallis, Curator, Contemporary British Art.

The following works have been acquired as gifts to the Tate Collection thanks to The Outset /Frieze London Fund to benefit the Tate Collection:

  • Hideko Fukushima (1927-1997) Ko 8, 1963, Oil on canvas, 96.5 × 96.5 cm, from Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo;
  • Nicholas Hlobo (born 1975) Balindile I, 2012, Inner rubber tube, ribbons, canvas, hosepipe, steel, 160 × 50 cm (dimensions variable), from Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg;
  • Caragh Thuring (born 1972) Arthur Kennedy, 2012, Oil and graphite on linen, 121.9 × 182.9 cm, from Thomas Dane Gallery, London;
  • Jack Whitten (born 1939) Epsilon Group II, 1977, Oil on canvas, 161.3 × 161.3 cm, from Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp.

Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate said: “In its tenth year, Frieze continues to be a fair in which we can all make discoveries of emerging and re-emerging artists. This year, the purchases range from rediscoveries such as Fukushima and Whitten, to an artist showing in the first gallery from Africa to be present at the Fair and a younger British painter. We are delighted to be celebrating the10th anniversary of the Fund and we are grateful to Outset for their continuing and very valuable support.”


Written by davidfranchi

November 2, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Tate Director, Sir Nicholas Serota, calls for arts to be core subjects in the school reform.

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Sir Nicholas Serota © Tate Archive 2003

Tate Director, Sir Nicholas Serota, calls for arts to be core subjects in the school reform.

David Franchi – 4th October 2012

“It should not be regarded as an optional extra”

Tate strongly affirms arts have to stay in the curriculum. Tate is calling for arts subjects to remain within the National Curriculum for Secondary Schools and for their inclusion in the English Baccalaureate. The proposals for the new Baccalaureate certificates announced two weeks ago do not include the arts as a core subject. But studies confirm that art disciplines are of absolute use.

Sir Nicholas Serota, Director of the Tate art galleries, has recommended to the government to include the arts in the English Baccalaureate qualifications that will replace GCSEs. The new proposals, in fact, do not leave space in the school timetable for art, design, dance, drama and music.

Education Secretary, Michael Gove, announced the English Baccalaureate would be taught from 2015, and that English, maths and the sciences, will be embraced immediately, and only later it will include history or geography and a language.

Speaking at the launch of the Tate’s annual report, Sir Nicholas Serota, Director Tate, said: “There is a real risk that fewer and fewer schools will provide learning opportunities in the arts. The UK’s leading edge in creativity may be lost. We cannot deprive an entire generation of children of the cultural skills that they will need.”

Last February, Darren Henley of Classic FM, published a report for the Departments of Education and Culture, Media and Sport that gave a firm endorsement of the importance of earlier cultural learning in the curriculum. In spite of a favourable response from government, there are now concerns that Henley’s detailed proposals will not be implemented.

Cultural learning is more significant than ever. Creativity is essential in a global economy which needs a workforce that is knowledgeable, imaginative and innovative. One of the few parts of the economy in the UK which is still growing is the creative industries. Cultural education is vital for the development of individuals and of society as a whole and it should be delivered through schools as part of the curriculum to ensure both quality of opportunity and experience. It should not be regarded as an optional extra.

However, the Department of Education claimed that they are spending £15m over the next three years to ensure that every child has access to the arts. Other £3.6 million are allocated for schools to use towards visits to museums and galleries. Furthermore, the government gives more training and support for teachers to improve the quality of arts education in schools. Another support will arrive from funding Saturday art and design clubs for talented young people in the most deprived areas.

It seems that pupils at schools where the arts were integrated into the curriculum showed stronger performance in maths, English, critical thinking and verbal skills. Studied made during the past 20-30years strongly confirmed that cultural learning at school gives general benefit, and that it is not related only to art disciplines.

The arts are central to a rounded curriculum and complete education. Art studies significantly boost student achievement and schools integrating arts into their curriculum also show improved student performance in Maths, English, critical thinking and verbal skills. Students from low-income families who take part in arts activities at school are three times more likely to take a degree.

However, the government insist its reforms are in line with Mr Henley’s recommendations. The core academic subjects have been chosen and they will be the standard for the whole system.

Learning through and about the arts enables young people to make, create, learn and express themselves. This is fundamental to achieving success in school and later life. By making art a part of the national curriculum, we give the next generation of artists, designers, engineers, creators and cultural leaders the opportunity to develop the imagination and skills that are vital to our future.

Hopefully, the multimillionaires government will take these proposals into account, but there are strong doubts about it.

Written by davidfranchi

October 4, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Korean art of Sung Hwan Kim at The Tate Modern Tanks.

Sung Hwan Kim, Washing Brain and Corn, 2012 © Sung Hwan Kim

Korean art of Sung Hwan Kim at The Tate Modern Tanks.

David Franchi – 24th September 2012

is complex and it leaves a bit baffled, but therefore is interesting”

An exhibition of Sung Hwan Kim has been opened at The Tanks, Tate Modern. The Korean artist presents the first specially commissioned installation in The Tanks, Tate Modern’s new galleries permanently dedicated to performance and film.

Sung Hwan Kim is known for his interdisciplinary work, incorporating installation, video, performance, music, light and drawing. In his works he mingles personal history, fantasy, rumour, politics and culture. This Tate Modern commissioned exhibition was conceived to respond to the unique architecture of The Tanks which is an intense space made of thick concrete walls with dark corners.

One of Tate Modern’s former oil tanks has been divided into two highly atmospheric rooms by Sung Hwan Kim, where light and screened images bounce off mirrors, reflective material and walls. Both contain architectural stage-sets that act as platforms for four of the artist’s films.

In the smaller of the two rooms we see “From the Commanding Heights…” (2007), a film which intersperses a story set within the renowned South Korean Hyundai apartment complex in Seoul with that of a rumoured affair between a famous Korean actress and a dictator, illustrated and narrated by Sung Hwan Kim with pen and acetate.

In the second room we see a further three films – “Dog Video” (2006), “Washing Brain and

Sung Hwan Kim, The Tanks Commission, 2012 (installation view) © Sung Hwan Kim, Ph. Tate Photography

Corn” (2010), and “Temper Clay” (2012) – each presented within distinct and carefully constructed spaces, in a sort of puzzling network made of platforms, mirrors and videos. The first film, “Dog Video”, appears as some sort of weird competition between masked men, but it is addressed to Kim’s father. While the second film, “Washing Brain and Corn”, is the very strong story of a brain transplant or a metaphor of South Korean political story.

The third one, “Temper Clay”, is focused on Kim’s parent’s situation, but it is interesting also for the soundtrack. Music is a crucial element of the work of Sung Hwan Kim whose long-term collaboration with musician and composer David Michael DiGregorio is also significant. DiGregorio records and performs under the name dogr, and his music and image appear in each video. Music and sound, particularly dogr’s wide ranging vocals, are used to establish a distinctive mood and pace within the films.

The Sung Hwan Kim exhibition at The Tanks, Tate Modern, is complex and it leaves a bit baffled, but therefore is interesting.

Sung Hwan Kim exhibtion, The Tanks at Tate Modern, Photocredit: Tate Photography

Sung Hwan Kim was born in 1975 in Seoul, South Korea, and lives and works in New York. He initially studied architecture at Seoul National University, followed by a BA in Mathematics and Art, Williams College, Williamstown (2000), followed by a MSc in Visual Studies at MIT and a residency at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam (2004–5). Recent solo exhibitions include “Line Wall”, Kunsthalle Basel (2011); “From the Commanding Heights”, Queens Museum, New York (2011); “Golden Times”, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany, (2010) and “Witte de With”, Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2009).

His performances and stories take slightly different versions of variation through improvisation just like fairy tales, myths, magic, lies, history, or sometimes fact are often told through variation such as exaggeration, deletion, intonation, rhythm, texture of voice, and usage of timbre. The artist integrates video and performance playing the multiple roles as director, editor, performer, composer, narrator, and poet.

Sung Hwan Kim’s commission is part of Art in Action, a 15-week festival of film and performance. The exhibition is supported by Sotheby’s.

From 18th July until 28th October 2012.

At Tate Modern, Southbank, London.

Written by davidfranchi

September 25, 2012 at 2:09 pm

"Damien Hirst" attracted over 460,000 visitors at Tate Modern.

The incomplete truth, 2006 © Londonartpress.com

“Damien Hirst” attracted over 460,000 visitors at Tate Modern.

David Franchi – 19th September 2012

“It is the most visited solo exhibition ever held at the gallery”

Damien Hirst exhibition has broken the records, at Tate Modern. Damien Hirst exhibition attracted 463,087 visitors, Tate Modern announced. It is the most visited solo exhibition ever held at the gallery.

The most visited exhibition Tate Modern has organized was “Matisse Picasso” (11 May – 18 August 2002, 467,166 visitors). After “Damien Hirst”, the third and fourth most popular were “Edward Hopper” (27 May – 5 September 2004, 429,909 visitors) and “Gauguin: Maker of Myth” (30 September 2010 – 16 January 2011, 420,686 visitors).

Open for over five months from 4th April to 9th September, “Damien Hirst” was seen by almost 3,000 visitors each day. The exhibition is an example of the longer running shows that Tate has introduced in recent years, which offer visitors a chance to see exhibitions across the spring and summer.

The exhibition was also part of the London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad. However, the Tate Modern exhibition was held during the Olympic Games period which have probably increased the number of visitors. On the other hand, this terrible credit crunch moment does not encourage people to buy tickets.

This was the first substantial survey of Hirst’s work ever held in the UK. Sponsored by

In and out of love (white paintings and live butterflies), 1991 © Londonartpress.com

the Qatar Museums Authority, it provided a unique journey through two decades of Hirst’s inventive practice. Major works on display included “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living”, in which a shark is suspended in formaldehyde, and “In and Out of Love”, a two-room installation involving live butterflies.

Together with the seventy pieces in the gallery, in the Turbine Hall the famous “For the Love of God” (2007) – a platinum cast of a human skull set with 8,601 diamonds – went on display for two months in a special viewing chamber. It was the first time the sculpture could be seen in the UK since its first exhibition in London, at White Cube (2007).

Chris Dercon, Director, Tate Modern said: “We are delighted that so many people came to see and discuss the Damien Hirst exhibition at Tate Modern. It was wonderful to see such iconic works brought together in one place and to offer our visitors a chance to experience them first-hand.”

From 4th April until 9th September 2012.

At Tate Modern, Southbank, London.

Written by davidfranchi

September 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm

The Tanks opening festival at Tate Modern.

Boris Charmatz, Flip Book, 1997 © Boris Charmatz

The Tanks opening festival at Tate Modern.

David Franchi – 6th September 2012

“the Tate Tanks could be a key event in the history of art”

The Tate Tanks are a new captivating idea, according to the numerous public attending the venue. It seems to be the first space permanently dedicated to exhibiting live art, performance, installation and film works, and, additionally, an attempt to preserve the new media.

Inaugurated the last 18th July, the Tate Tanks are at the core of the London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad. The Tate Tanks have been launched with a fifteen-week festival until the 28th October 2012. Over 40 established and emerging artists from across the world will be taking part.

They are a space to propose again classic performances previously been staged at Tate Modern in different spaces. However, they are also showing newly commissioned works. The opening programme is supported by The Tanks Supporters Group.

“They are new spaces for totally new productions of arts. New spaces for learning from experience. There is the problem of the storage of art performances. Tate Tanks are to collect, reconstruct and show performances”, said Chris Dercon, Tate Modern Director.

Located on the south side of Tate Modern Turbine Hall, the Tate Tankswere designed by Herzog &

Eddie Peake, DEM performed at Cell Project Space London, 2012 © Eddie Peake, Ph: Damian Jaques

de Meuron. They are raw industrial spaces.

The Tate Tanks, in fact, were originally massive industrial chambers containing oil that fuelled the power station and have lain unused since it was decommissioned in 1981. They each measure over thirty metres across and seven metres high.

Ideally, the Tate Tanks could be a key event in the history of art. Performance art is born around a hundred years ago with Futurism, Dadaism and Surrealism, and it mingles elements of theatre, dance, literature, painting, sculpture, music and film.

Tate Tanks seems to give an answer to the problem of art conservation for the new media. The ‘new media art preservation’, in fact, is the study and practice of techniques for sustaining artworks created using digital, biological, performative, and other variable media. Artworks created using new media are deteriorating and it is rather difficult to preserve them.

Ephemera medium, the hasty technological obsolescence, contextual or live qualities of the artworks, are all problematic aspects of the art conservation which have stimulated debate and research into new preserving strategies. The Tate Tanks as a first space permanently dedicated to exhibiting give boost to the solution of the problem.

The Tate Tanks are composed by three rooms: the East Tank, the South Tank and the Transformer Galleries.

The East Tank showcases a major new commission by Sung Hwan Kim, one of the key artists of his generation, which is supported by Sotheby’s.

In the South Tank, a series of projects will address the history of performance, film and interdisciplinary work alongside newly commissioned focus projects. Three are the main different sector: “Focus projects”, “Symposia” and “Learning”.

About “Focus projects” highlights include: Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, one of the most important choreographers of the late 20th century; Tania Bruguera was present for three weeks, running workshops and discussions on her latest project; Aldo Tambellini will re-envision his seminal 1960s electromedia environments. An ambitious series of live events and installations will re-examine groundbreaking figures in UK expanded cinema and film performance, including Brighton-based provocateur Jeff Keen, and Filmaktion Group. In the next event visitors will be invited to create their own performance with Haegue Yang’s new installation of her mobile performative sculptures.

Jeff Keen, Flik Flak, 1964 © Jeff Keen

Highlight of “Symposia” include Eddie Peake who created a new commission for Tate Modern that explores sexuality and voyeurism. “Learning” highlight was the young people’s festival Undercurrent a ten days of audio, digital media and performance rooted in London’s sub-cultures. Also families were involved in a ‘live action’ event that was created in response to the filmworks in the Tanks. Up to 5000 participants had streams of 16mm film to manipulate to create a narrative which will then be projected onto the vast circular subterranean walls of the Tanks as a mass-authored piece.

The Transformer Galleries showcase installations of recent major acquisitions of film and performance. Suzanne Lacy’s “Crystal Quilt” (1987), an exploration of the visibility of older women in the media, is presented alongside Lis Rhodes’s work “Light Music” (1975), which investigates the use of film, projection and sound and their relationship to the audience.

The opening of the Tanks is Phase 1 of the Tate Modern Project. The new building will be completed by 2016. The new development, designed by internationally celebrated architects, Herzog & de Meuron, will create a spectacular new Tate Modern building. The new building will increase Tate Modern’s size by 60% adding approximately 21,000 square metres of new space. Anonymous donations has given the opportunity to complete the first phase, having raised over three quarters of the total capital costs of £215 million – £50 million from Government, £7m from the Greater London Authority and the remainder from private sources.

The Tanks programme is curated by Catherine Wood, Curator of Contemporary Art and Performance, Kathy Noble, Curator of Interdisciplinary Projects and Stuart Comer, Curator of Film in collaboration with Learning colleagues including Marko Daniel, Convenor (Adult Programmes) and Mark Miller, Convenor (Young People’s Programmes).

From 18th July until 28th October 2012.

At Tate Modern, Southbank, London.

Written by davidfranchi

September 8, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Migrations: Journeys into British Art at the Tate Britain

Portsmouth Dockyard (1877) by James Tissot © Tate

Migrations: Journeys into British art at the Tate Britain.

David Franchi – Tuesday, 21st February 2012

Spanning over 500 years, “Migrations: Journeys into British Art” gives a bright overlook about influence and contribution of foreign artist into the British art.

Tate Britain exhibition explores how British art has been shaped by migration. Featuring artists from Van Dyck, Whistler and Mondrian to Steve McQueen and Francis Alÿs, “Migrations: Journeys into British Art” focuses on the movement of artists and also the spreading of art and ideas in Britain.

Looking at Tate Britain exhibition it seems that before the fifteenth century British art almost did not exist. “Migrations: Journeys into British Art” is organised in a chronological order. While much of the works of the early periods shown are related to foreign artist settled in England, later ones are connected to artists who moved to the UK from the Commonwealth.

Beginning with works from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the exhibition will show that much British art from this period was made by artists from abroad, including Antwerp-born Anthony Van Dyck, the court painter whose famous portraits such as ‘Charles I’ outlines our idea of the British aristocracy of this time. The contribution of the Italians, for example Canaletto, is also important.

In this exhibition the Royal Academy of Arts environment is also investigated through its founder

Between the two my heart is balanced (1991) by Lubaina Himid © Tate

works (1768) of which almost a third were migrant artists active in Britain.

American artist Whistler and Sargent are the major artists involved in the extensive interchange of ideas between Britain, France and America in the late-nineteenth-century.

Another section brings together works of Jewish artists and the refugees who were sheltered in the UK during the Second World War, including Gropius, Mondrian, Gabo, Kokoschka and Maholy-Nagy.

Stateless conceptual artists in the 50s and 60s of the nineteenth century moved to the UK, particularly from the Commonwealth countries. Additionally, in the 60s London became an international hub for artist from all over the world. Some of them developed a radical subculture of experimentation and innovation. Those global citizens unbounded to any specific place were looking for an international language through the ‘dematerialisation of the object’. Black Audio Film Collective sought to disclose the possibilities of being both ‘Black’ and ‘British’ in the 1980s.

The big rooms of the last section about the ‘moving image’ show giant screening of video of recent work by contemporary artists. They use the moving image as a versatile tool for both documenting and questioning reality.

In over five centuries many transformation happened and it is now easier to settle down in UK and therefore contributing to the development of the British art. “Migrations: Journeys into British Art” examines how British art has been shaped by a long and intricate history of the movement of people to and from the country.

Railings (2004) by Francis Alys © Tate

It is also amazing to see such a kind of exhibition in this particular time when many, including MPs and members of the Government, are much criticising migrations and stigmatising foreigners for the many problems the UK has. Au contraire “Migrations: Journeys into British Art” shows that interchange and comparison are constructive tools you can use to grow. Art migrates like for example, languages, diseases and the alphabet, using trade, invasion or colonisation. Artists, as many other workers, are pushed out their home countries by famine, persecution, war or simply they hope to go where the work is. Art, as much other kind of sectors such as sport or finance, mirrors the society and its growth need through the mix of ideas and culture. It is possible to find nowadays in the UK and particularly in London with its more than 300 official language communities. Migration is an opportunity that it is possible to catch.

The exhibition is curated by a group of Tate curators headed by Lizzie Carey-Thomas (Curator, Contemporary British Art).

From 31st January until 12th August 2012.

At the Tate Britain, Pimlico, London.

Written by davidfranchi

February 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm