Tate Britain plans a quiet rehang of most galleries in celebration of female artists

Tate Britain plans a quiet rehang of most galleries in celebration of female artists
The Generosity, 2010, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
Must see  -   Exhibitions

Show will reflect vital role of women in history of British art over last six decades

Tate Britain has announced major plans on Tuesday to rehang the last six decades of its gallery displays with only female artists including Bridget Riley, Anthea Hamilton and Rachel Whiteread. Starting in April and lasting for at least one year, the free galleries whose aim is to tell the story of British art from 1960 until present day, will show exclusively female artists.

As bold as the move is, Maria Balshaw, the director of the museum and galleries, hopes that it all goes unnoticed as female artists should be a central part of recent art history. Institutions have certainly made progress in female artist representation “but it has been slow for too long. We are happy that it is speeding up” she said.

The plans include approximately 30 artists and 60 works from the Tate collection ranging from paintings to sculptures, photography, and film.

Tate said the plan was part of their commitment to improve the representation of women across all its galleries. Alex Farquharson, the director of Tate Britain, said: “The recent histories of the Turner prize, Tate’s exhibition programme and contemporary acquisitions reflect the critical role of women in the history of British art over the last 60 years. This presentation, 60 Years, will offer a significant moment to recognise and celebrate a selection of Britain’s most important artists working from the 1960s to the present day.”

Major highlights in the display will include Gillian Wearing’s film Sacha and Mum,1996 and Susan Hiller’s multimedia installation Belshazzar’s Feast, the Writing on Your Wall, 1983-84. Hiller’s large-scale works combine video, photography, furniture, audio and drawing to recall a domestic environment late at night. It entered the collection in 1984 and was last shown at Tate Britain in 2003.

Other highlights include Sarah Lucas’s 1997 sculpture Pauline Bunny which is a mannequin figurine made from stuffed pair of tights, works by Tomma Abts, winner of the Turner prize in 2006 as well as pieces by the remarkable Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.  

The Tate won’t be stopping here however, as they have also planned numerous exhibitions across all of their galleries with the same goal. This includes monographic exhibitions dedicated to Natalia Goncharova, Dora Maar and Dorothea Tanning at Tate Modern, Sol Calero at Liverpool, and Otobong Nkanga at St. Ives.

It also warms up well for a wider rehang of Tate Britain scheduled for 2020.