LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Britain’s Tate museums will present shows on Gauguin, Picasso and Henry Moore in the coming season, as well as exhibitions featuring cartoons, CCTV footage and black artists’ influence on modernism.
The four museums — two in London and one in Liverpool and St. Ives, Cornwall — will be hoping that a mixture of established names and less well-known artists will keep visitors coming during tough economic times.
And despite slow progress in securing funds, Tate Modern, the largest gallery of the four housed in an old power station in the capital, hopes to have its 215 million pound ($355 million) expansion ready in 2012, the year of the Olympic Games.
Among the shows likely to earn the tag “blockbuster” in 2010 is that dedicated to French painter Paul Gauguin, which Tate Modern director Vicente Todoli said would challenge people’s assumptions and underline the artist’s role as a storyteller.
The show will run from September 30, 2010 to January 16, 2011, opening shortly after “Exposure” at the same gallery between May 28 and September 19 next year.
The exhibition will examine “surreptitious” photography and the balance between intrusive images and the power of individuals to control them. Todoli expects Exposure to feature CCTV footage and images taken by mobile phones.
At Tate Liverpool, “Picasso: Peace and Freedom” (May 21-August 30, 2010) will look at the artist’s role as political activist and campaigner for peace after World War Two.
Henry Moore’s works will be on display at Tate Britain in London from February 24 - August 15, 2010, focusing on his career between the 1920s and 1960s, and at Tate St. Ives, British artists Dexter Dalwood and Peter Lanyon have separate shows.
Tate director Nicholas Serota said he was confident that expansion plans at Tate Modern would go ahead, despite the impact of the international crisis on potential donors.
“In terms of where we stand on fundraising, the world in September 2009 is not the world that it was in September 2008 and during that year it has been ... very difficult ... to raise funds for capital projects,” he told reporters on Thursday.
Tate has raised around a third of funds needed for the project, or 75 million pounds, a figure that is little changed from a year ago. The museum has also raised about one half of the 45 million pounds needed for planned works at Tate Britain.
Despite slow progress, Serota said he had noticed an improvement in the mood among corporate donors in recent months.
“I think people were very, very worried in the spring and I think they are less so now,” he added.
Serota foresaw fewer major art shows traveling around the world due to the financial crisis, but Tate had not yet canceled any planned exhibitions despite several U.S. art institutions having to do so.
Tate Liverpool’s show “Afro-Modernism: Journeys Through the Black Atlantic” from January 29-April 25 “reflected a broadening of the Tate’s interest” in art from outside Northwest Europe and the United States, Serota said.
The exhibition sets out to analyze the role black artists and intellectuals played in modernism and will feature works from artists including Glenn Ligon and Wilfredo Lam.
Editing by Paul Casciato