Recent major acquisitions of British contemporary art will go on display in the BP Exhibition Classified, opening at Tate Britain on 22 June 2009. This free exhibition will i nclude large-scale works from Tate’s collection. Using a wide range of media, Classified will feature new acquisitions which will be on display at Tate for the first time, such as Jake & Dinos Chapman’s Chapman Family Collection 2002 and two works from Damien Hirst’s recent gift to Tate: The Acquired Inability to Escape 1991, one of the artist’s early vitrine works, and Life Without You 1991. On view 22 June – 23 August 2009.
Classified will offer visitors to Tate Britain the opportunity to see exceptional works by leading contemporary artists and to explore the recent development of Tate’s outstanding collection. Artists represented in the exhibition will be: Phillip Allen, Gillian Carnegie, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Martin Creed, Tacita Dean, Jeremy Deller, Mark Dion, Ceal Floyer, Damien Hirst, Simon Patterson, Peter Peri, Fiona Rae, Simon Starling, and Rebecca Warren.
Classified will focus on the way artists use ordering systems in their work, exploring how our need to classify affects our perception of the world. The exhibition will address this desire to collect, order and categorise, and will show how artists often use these networks and relationships in ways that reveal the inherent instability of meaning. The works in this exhibition employ a variety of methods and approaches, but are united by the artists’ engagement with the ways we all codify the objects and images that surround us as part of our daily life.
Familiar works such as Damien Hirst’s room installation Pharmacy 1992, Simon Patterson’s Great Bear 1992, a reconfigured version of the iconic map of the London Underground, and Mark Dion’s Tate Thames Dig 1999, which groups together objects found on the banks of the River Thames, will be shown alongside works that have been acquired over the last five years. This is the first time that many of these will be on display at Tate, including installations such as Simon Starling’s Work made-ready, Les Baux-de-Provence (Mountain Bike) 2001, Jake and Dinos Chapman’s Chapman Family Collection 2002, Tacita Dean’s film portrait Michael Hamburger 2007 and Rebecca Warren’s sculpture In the Bois 2005. All these works allow the visitor to reflect not only on the artists’ construction of meaning by their use of different strategies of classification but also on the museum’s role in collecting, cataloguing and displaying objects.
Classified is curated by Clarrie Wallis, Curator Contemporary British Art at Tate Britain, and Andrew Wilson, Curator Modern & Contemporary British Art at Tate.
BP British Art Displays 1500-2009 is supported by BP. BP has supported Collection Displays at Millbank since 1990, first at the Tate Gallery and then from the opening of Tate Britain in 2000 to the present. BP’s continued support allows Tate Britain to create a broad and dynamic displays programme which explores in depth British art from 1500 to the present. Visit Tate Britain at : www.tate.org.uk/britain/