Nine works acquired from Frieze London address migration, change and labour
This morning, Frances Morris, Director, Tate Modern, welcomed a large crowd to the institution's newly opened Switch House extension to announce the acquisitions of the inaugural Frieze Tate Fund. Through the support of WME | IMG, GBP£150,000 has been made available to the Tate in order to acquire works shown at Frieze London for the national collection.
The Fund panel included two guest curators: Jarosław Suchan, Director, Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz, and María Inés Rodríguez, Director, CAPC, Bordeaux, who worked alongside four Tate curators to make a selection of work by a range of international artists.
Suchan introduced the audience to the late Turkish artist Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin (1957–2007), emphasizing the continued relevance of the five works that have been purchased to the socio-political issues of today. Suchan described Alpetkin’s vision of globalization as 'a process of migration; of signs, of objects, of pictures, from one culture to another.' He continued: ‘He is also showing how those things are changing their meanings as they move from one culture to another.’ Esra Sarıgedik Öktem, Senior Director of Rampa, the Istanbul gallery from which the works were acquired, added: ‘For the estate of the artist, for his wife and his son, it is just an incredible honour to know that his work will be in good hands, and seen by millions in the future.’
Rodríguez then announced the acquisition of three sculptural works by Leonor Antunes from São Paulo’s Galeria Luisa Strina: Mesh (2015), Assembled, moved, re-arranged and scrapped continuously I (2013), and Discrepâncias com T.P. (II) (2012). Highlighting Antunes’s international significance, Rodríguez noted that the works contained a ‘conversation between architecture and time.’
The final acquisition is of a single sculpture by Malaysian-born, London-based artist Phillip Lai, whose works Suchan described as ‘apparently very simple, very enigmatic, but at the same time powerful. He explores how we relate to everyday objects, employing a labour intensive process of casting.’ Back at Frieze London, Lai’s gallerist Stuart Shave (of Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London), underlined the impact and importance of the Frieze Tate Fund.‘'I think that the really effective thing in this environment is it is able to bring artwork into the collection very quickly. That is very exciting, because most museum sales involve months and months of discussion ... Going into the Tate collection is a major moment for an artist.’
While the Fund provides significant purchasing power, Tate Director Nicholas Serota emphasized that the support of the entire art community’s plays a key role. He went on to thank ‘the galleries and the artists who have been so generous in helping to make it possible for works of this calibre to enter a public collection.’
Working previously with Outset Contemporary Art Fund, Tate have acquired over 100 works at Frieze, two of which are currently on display at Tate Britain, while ten are being shown at Tate Modern. Next year’s acquisitions will be overseen by Gregor Muir, who will become Tate’s Director of Collection, International Art, in January of next year. Muir, who is currently at the ICA, has co-curated the 2016 Frieze Talks, which began today at Frieze London.
The 2016 Frieze Tate Fund acquisitions in full:
Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin (all works from the series 'H-Fact: Hospitality/Hostility', 2003–7)
Tirana Place, hotel sign, 3.2 x 6.5 x 1.2 m – number 2 in an edition of 3
Pension Bombay, hotel sign, 4.2 x 8 x 1.2 m – number 2 in an edition of 3
Motel Rio, hotel sign, 5.5 x 5.5 x 1.2 m – number 2 in an edition of 3 plus 1 artist’s proof
Hotel Bagdad, hotel sign, 8.9 x 5.8 x 1.4 m – number 2 in an edition of 3 plus 1 artist’s proof
Motel Yalta, hotel sign, 6 x 7.5 x 1.4 m – number 1 in an edition of 3 plus 1 artist’s proof
Mesh, 2015, leather cord, 400 x 100 x 2 cm
Assembled, moved, re-arranged and scrapped continuously I, 2013, wood, bamboo, rope and nylon, 83 x 290 cm
Discrepâncias com T.P. (II), 2012, teka wood, thread, nylon, foam and leather, dimensions variable
Untitled, 2016, polyurethane resin, concrete, PVC foam, plywood and aluminium, 101 x 60 x 68 cm