Tate Modern mixes old with new with pyramid-like extension

Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:31pm EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - Tate Modern made a show on Tuesday of its new pyramid-like extension, which significantly adds to the London gallery's space and allows it to exhibit more contemporary art from around the world.

Works on display in the revamped art museum, which includes the new 10-storey Switch House, include a room full of human hair and car bumpers by Indian artist Sheela Gowda and a tower of 800 radios by Brazil's Cildo Meireles.

The "new Tate Modern" extension increases the size of the gallery in a former power station on the River Thames by 60 percent and will open to the public on Friday following a 260 million pound ($367 million) revamp.

Tate Modern said its completely re-hung free collection features some 800 works by more than 300 artists, with half of the solo displays dedicated to women artists.

New acquisitions such as 1930s photography by Lionel Wendt and 1960s sculpture by Lebanon's Saloua Raouda Choucair add to works by artists such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Mattisse.

"We try to mix the familiar and the unfamiliar. We try to show that artists don't just think about their own generation or even about the previous generation," Tate director Nicholas Serota told Reuters.

"They look at people from 50, 100 years ago. They take inspiration from them, then they build it into their own work...that's what's exciting about the whole way we show the collection."

Like the main gallery, which opened in 2000 and attracts 5 million visitors a year, the 65-metre (213.25 ft) high extension was designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron.

Clad in a lattice of 336,000 bricks in a nod to the original power station's brickwork, the tower has a public viewing level offering 360 degree panoramic views of the British capital.   Continued...

 
A man stands outside the Switch House during the unveiling of the New Tate Modern in London. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth