Press Release

ARTIST ROOMS on Tour with The Art Fund, supported by The Scottish Government

ARTIST ROOMS on Tour with The Art Fund, supported by The Scottish Government: Press related to past news.

Tour Schedule 2009
Tate Britain
2 March 2009 – 2010
Ian Hamilton Finlay
(BP British Art Displays 1500-2009)

Ian Hamilton Finlay’s Sailing Dinghy 1996 is a monumental one-room installation comprising a full-sized sailing boat and poem. The sailing boat, which Hamilton Finlay has sailed on the sea, measures over five metres tall and four metres wide, while a poem forms a ‘key’ that describes the parts of the boat and evokes its movement.  In the 1960s Hamilton Finlay was widely known as one of Britain’s foremost concrete poets, and much of his early poetry concerns sailing and fishing boats. His work, often collaborative and in a wide variety of materials, is a unique blend of art and poetry - this installation combines his love of ships and the sea with his love of literature and the potency of words. A second ARTIST ROOMS display of Gilbert & George will open at Tate Britain in late April as part of the BP British Art Displays 1500-2009.

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh
14 March – 8 November 2009
Vija Celmins
Damien Hirst
Ellen Gallagher
Alex Katz
Andy Warhol – stitched photographs
Francesca Woodman

Damien Hirst, Vija Celmins and Alex Katz are among the artists whose work will be shown in a series of inaugural displays at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Highlights will include Vija Celmins’ beautiful, delicate images of seas, deserts and the night sky, a complete series of landscape and portrait paintings by the American painter Alex Katz and Francesca Woodman’s intimate, surrealist influenced photographs. Damien Hirst, the most prominent British artist of today, will feature in an expanded display across several rooms. This will bring together works from ARTIST ROOMS - such as the iconic Away from the Flock 1994 (an early example of Hirst’s animals in formaldehyde) and a recent butterfly painting - with additional loans from further collections. A further ARTIST ROOMS display dedicated to the work of Agnes Martin will open at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in early August. ARTIST ROOMS transforms the ability of the Gallery of Modern Art to display modern international art now and into the future.

28 March – 21 September 2009
Andy Warhol – posters and paintings

This exhibition of major portrait paintings and a selection of posters will represent some of the most important themes in Andy Warhol’s practice. Highlights include the iconic multi-part paintings Skulls 1976 and Self-Portrait Strangulation 1978 as well as the celebrated four-part mural-size work of 1986, Camouflage. Portraits and posters of Man Ray 1967, Mick Jagger (1980), Gilbert and George 1975, and Muhammad Ali 1978 reveal Warhol’s enduring fascination with glamour, celebrity and contemporary icons. Whilst film posters provide new insights into the breadth and depth of the artist’s career as well as his eye-catching ability as a graphic artist. On display alongside these works will be Andy Warhol’s work Jacqueline (1964) from Wolverhampton’s Pop Art Collection.

Tate Modern
April 2009 – 2010
Anselm Kiefer
Jeff Koons
Jannis Kounellis
Ed Ruscha
Robert Therrien
Andy Warhol - black and white diptychs
(UBS Openings: Tate Modern Collection)

Six ARTIST ROOMS including Anslem Kiefer, Jeff Koons, Jannis Kounellis, Ed Ruscha, Robert Therrien and Andy Warhol will be unveiled at Tate Modern in April as part of UBS Openings: Tate Modern Collection. Robert Therrien’s gigantic sculpture No Title (Table and Four Chairs), 2003 will fill the central gallery of a display exploring scale. Other highlights include major paintings by Ed Ruscha and Andy Warhol in the States of Flux galleries on Level 5. Works by Jannis Kounellis and Anslem Kiefer will go on show in a suite of galleries dedicated to the Arte Povera movement.

Tramway, Glasgow
17 April – 31 May 2009
Bruce Nauman

This exhibition features works by the internationally celebrated American artist, Bruce Nauman. Highlights include two unique neon pieces: the early work, La Brea/Art Tips/Rat Spit/Tar Pits, 1972; and a loan from Anthony d’Offay’s own collection, Trust Me Only Big Studio, 1984; two sculptures, Untitled, Hand Circle, 1996 and Partial Truth, 1997; the important unique two-monitor video work, Raw Materials Washing Hands, 1996; and two further videos dated 1986 and 1999. The exhibition will take place in Tramway’s new gallery Tramway 5, a beautiful new space located at the front of the historic building.

Tate Britain
20 April 2009 – 2010
Gilbert & George
(BP British Art Displays 1500-2009)

This display will comprise eleven works ranging from 1970 to 1991 including eight from ARTIST ROOMS complemented by three works from Tate Collection. The display will be part of Tate Britain’s BP British Art Displays 1500-2009. It will include early black and white pictures from the 1970s, including the video A Portrait of the Artists as Young Men 1970 and bold-coloured works of the 1980s and 90s such as Existers 1984, and Family Tree 1991. Since 1970 Gilbert & George have been important figures in the international art world. Working as a pair and presenting themselves as ‘living sculpture’, incorporating themselves into their art, they set out to provoke their viewers, making them think and question conventions and taboos. Their early work emphasised the artists’ own image, their place as misfits in society and their concept of ‘art for all’. But by the late seventies their work explored the world and the people around them in the East End of London.

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
26 April – 27 June 2009
Robert Mapplethorpe

The Highland Council will be hosting a special exhibition of works by the celebrated American photographer, Robert Mapplethorpe at Inverness Museum & Art Gallery. The group of photographs in the ARTIST ROOMS collection is probably the best collection in the world of the artist’s work after the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The selection focusses on Mapplethorpe’s portraits -  many depicting the most influential artists, writers and musicians of his day including Andy Warhol, Truman Capote and Patti Smith  - and his iconic self-portraits.

Tate Liverpool
12 May – 13 September 2009
Sol LeWitt

Sol LeWitt (1928–2007) was a pioneer of Conceptual Art and Minimalism. The monumental and colourful Wall Drawing #1136 from the ARTIST ROOMS collection was first installed at Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco in 2004 and is a late example of LeWitt’s work, where vibrantly coloured bands are painted directly onto the wall of the gallery space. At Tate Liverpool it will span the 22 metre long wall of the ground floor gallery. This display of Sol LeWitt’s work from ARTIST ROOMS runs in parallel with Tate Liverpool’s exhibition Colour Chart: Reinventing Colour 1950 to Today (29 May – 13 September 2009).

Ulster Museum, National Museums Northern Ireland
20 May 2009 – May 2010
Richard Long

Cornish Slate Ellipse will be made by Richard Long this year especially for ARTIST ROOMS and will be installed in an external site located in the Botanic Gardens, Belfast. The work will take the form of a large floor-based sculpture comprising cut slate pieces arranged as an ellipse. Long has been a major figure in international and British art since the late 1960s. His practice is based on his relationship with the natural environment, and on his response to walks made outdoors in nature. Works by Long often take the form of geometric shapes made from organic materials such as stone, sticks or mud. Cornish Slate Ellipse will be installed outside in 2009 but in future years may also be exhibited in the context of a gallery or museum.

Tate St Ives
16 May – 20 September 2009
Lawrence Weiner

This display comprises a cycle of ten wall text works from 1988. All of the texts seem to refer to a manipulation of objects or matter in the physical world and have a very powerful sculptural quality: ‘CRUSHED BETWEEN COBBLESTONES’, TUCKED IN AT THE CORNERS’ or ‘DAUBED WITH MUCK AND MIRE’. Lawrence Weiner is one of the most acclaimed American artists working today. A key member of the New York conceptual art world of the 1960s, for over 40 years Weiner has been using language as the material for his work.  Whilst it usually takes the form of large typographic wall texts, he refers to his work as sculpture, and the words, phrases and statements he employs are often representative of states or processes grounded in materiality. His works exist simultaneously as instructions, propositions and evocations as well as the thing in itself.

National Museum Cardiff
9 May – 19 August 2009
Diane Arbus

The work of the legendary New York photographer, Diane Arbus, will be the subject of the ARTIST ROOMS exhibition at the National Museum Cardiff. 69 black and white photographs will be shown, including the rare and important portfolio of ten vintage prints: Box of Ten, 1971. This is one of the most important collections of Arbus’ work in the world.

New Art Gallery, Walsall
15 May – 5 July 2009
Andy Warhol – drawings

An exhibition of drawings by Andy Warhol will go on show at The New Art Gallery, Walsall. Andy Warhol (1928-1987) is the most influential artist of the post-war period and this exhibition of early illustrative works will reveal an alternative side of Warhol’s character and career. The unique collection of 50 early works on paper dating from c.1950 to 1962 and four later drawings, demonstrate Warhol’s move between the worlds of commercial art and advertising and the New York Pop Art scene.  In the 1950s, Warhol was one of the best known and highest paid illustrators in New York. His colourful and whimsical drawings of people, animals, insects, shoes and accessories adorned advertisement features, shop windows, and book covers.  As Warhol developed his own concept of Pop Art, he, himself became a household brand.  His self-portrait along with those of Mick Jagger and David Hockney reflect his enduring fascination celebrity, fame and mortality. 


Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Orkney
19 June – 5 September 2009
Bill Viola

The work of one of the world’s most celebrated contemporary artists is to be shown at the Pier Arts Centre in Stromness for the first time. Bill Viola has been creating emblematic installations in video and sound for over 35 years.  Curated by the Pier Arts Centre, the exhibition will feature video works from the artist’s Passions series created between 2000 and 2002. The two works in ARTIST ROOMS, Four Hands and Catherine’s Room , will be complemented by Surrender from the collection of the National Galleries of Scotland and Ascension on loan from the artist’s studio.

De la Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea
4 July – 27 September 2009
Joseph Beuys

This exhibition provides an exciting opportunity to show work by Joseph Beuys in a building whose architecture, like the work of the artist, is rooted in socialist ideals and whose purpose is to provide a cultural centre for its locality. The exhibition will feature sculptures, photographs, drawings, and watercolours as well as a selection of posters recalling live actions and events by Beuys. Highlights will include the vitrine, Fat Chair 1964 – 85, the late sculpture Scala Napoletana 1985 and works on paper such as the lithograph A Party for Animals, 1969. The exhibition will explore Beuys’s ideas on economics, politics, activism, anti-establishment, teaching, learning and philosophy and raise questions as to how these ideas have extended beyond Beuys’s own lifetime and how they can continue to inform new thinking today.

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh
6 August – 8 November 2009
Agnes Martin

In August 2009, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art will dedicate a room to the work of the influential minimalist artist Agnes Martin (1912-2004). Featuring the three late paintings included in ARTIST ROOMS, the display will be complemented by further works lent by the artist’s estate. Martin’s delicate technique expresses a quiet tension between ordered geometry and the irregularity of hand-drawn pencil lines, an inconsistency which she viewed as analogous to the human condition. This presentation will enable audiences in Scotland

mima Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art
28 August - 15 November 2009
Gerhard Richter

One of the world’s greatest living artists, Gerhard Richter is receiving widespread attention in the UK at present. The exhibition will feature paintings from several phases of the artist’s career, from the 1980s to the present. Highlights will include a rare sculpture from 1971, a number of acclaimed monochrome abstractions and the 2004 sculpture 11 Scheiben (11 Panes of Glass).

Aberdeen Art Gallery
29 August – 31 October 2009
Ron Mueck

Australian-born, London-based, Ron Mueck has become widely recognised for his sculptures, which replicate the human figure at greatly exaggerated or reduced scale, but always in the utmost detail. His incredibly life-like works have been exhibited internationally and have captivated the public wherever they have been shown. The exhibition will feature the three sculptures from ARTIST ROOMS: Wild Man, 2005; Spooning Couple, 2005; and Mask III, 2005 along with a further work lent by the National Galleries of Scotland.

The Lightbox, Woking
14 November 2009 – 14 February 2010
Jenny Holzer

Conceptual artist Jenny Holzer’s blue light installation, BLUE PURPLE TILT, is the centrepiece of this exhibition. The work, which is over 4 metres high, features seven doubled-sided vertical LED signs with messages from several of Holzer’s early text series. The show will also feature two large paintings Protect, Protect and Shape the Battlefield, in which Holzer presents declassified American military documents relating to the war in Iraq. Holzer’s dynamic and thought-provoking work aligns well with the creative and inspirational programmes which The Lightbox aims to bring to its various target audiences throughout the year

Graves Gallery, Museums Sheffield
19 December 2009 – 27 March 2010
Robert Mapplethorpe

The city’s very first exhibition of works by one of the most significant photographers of the 20th century. Born in 1946, Robert Mapplethorpe produced some of the most iconic images of the last 50 years. His work includes intimate pictures of friends and acquaintances, acclaimed studies of the statuesque male and female nude, delicate flora still lifes, and a wealth of enduring celebrity portraits, with subjects including Patti Smith, Grace Jones, Andy Warhol and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The exhibition will include highlights from throughout Mapplethorpe’s career.

firstsite, Colchester (Offsite Project)
Autumn 2009
Johan Grimonprez

The contemporary visual arts organisation firstsite are delighted to be in discussions to work with ARTIST ROOMS in presenting Johan Grimonprez’s important video work Dial H.I.S.T.O.R.Y, 1997 as an offsite project in autumn/winter 2009. In this work the Belgian artist Grimonprez used found television and video footage to trace the history of airplane highjackings from 1931 up to 1997. With a powerful soundtrack that includes spoken extracts taken from novels by Don DeLillo the work reflects upon the concept of history and its documentation. Dial H.I.S.T.O.R.Y holds a particular resonance for Colchester and firstsite since it was shown in the town in 2001 as part of firstsite’s exhibition Trauma, which opened in the week of the 9/11 attacks in New York. firstsite is currently based in offices in Colchester and are running a programme of offsite works in locations around Essex until they move into a new landmark premises that will house a vibrant programme of changing exhibitions, workshops, lectures and community events. Further details about the presentation of Grimonprez’s work will be announced in the spring.



Diane Arbus

Joseph Beuys

Vija Celmins

Gilbert & George

Johan Grimonprez

Ian Hamilton Finlay

Damien Hirst

Jenny Holzer

Alex Katz

Anselm Kiefer

Jeff Koons

Jannis Kounellis

Sol LeWitt

Richard Long

Robert Mapplethorpe

Agnes Martin

Ron Mueck

Bruce Nauman

Gerhard Richter

Ed Ruscha

Robert Therrien

Bill Viola

Andy Warhol

Lawrence Weiner

Francesca Woodman


Georg Baselitz

Ellen Gallagher

Richard Hamilton 

Mario Merz

Charles Ray

Robert Ryman

Cy Twombly


Diane Arbus 1923-1971

Three rooms comprising 69 black and white photographs, including the rare and important portfolio of ten vintage prints: Box of Ten, 1971.

Diane Arbus pioneered the photographic approach that bridges the gap between documentary and fine art. She explores the amazing variety of the lives, inner emotions and exotic appearances of ordinary people. Her subjects transcend social convention and establish an intense relationship with the viewer through the direction of their gaze. In so doing they reveal Arbus’ method which relied upon a sense of trust between the artist and her sitter. Arbus studied photography during the 1940s and 50s in New York and her first published photograph appeared in Esquire in 1960, she began making portraits in the early 1960s and was the recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships. In 1970 Arbus embarked on a project to create a series of limited editions of her work, but tragically committed suicide shortly after the first Box of Ten was produced. Less than a dozen copies of this work were printed before the artist’s death, making the body of work in ARTIST ROOMS - put together in collaboration with the artist’s daughter and the Trustees of her Estate - one of the best collections in existence.

Despite her reputation as one of the great figures of American photography to date, neither Tate nor the NGS hold any works by Arbus. Both institutions are committed to expanding their representation of twentieth-century photography. Tate recently acquired works by earlier twentieth-century photographers, such as Claude Cahun (1894-1954) and Jindřich Štyrský (1899-1942), as well as more contemporary photographers. The NGS has an important collection of historical photography, and a growing collection of contemporary photographers, including work by John Coplans (1920-2003), Lee Miller (1907-1977) and Andreas Gursky (b.1955). The addition of this remarkable group of works by Arbus will radically alter the way in which photography can be shown as a key medium in the history of twentieth-century art.

Joseph Beuys 1921-1986

Six rooms comprising 136 works including: 20 sculptures; Untitled, 1970 (a portrait of the artist on canvas on the theme of Elastic Foot: Plastic Foot), two further photographic works dated 1980; 110 drawings and watercolours, three multiples and the family’s archive of 422 posters. 

Beuys is recognised as one of the most influential figures of the second half of the twentieth century. Artist, political and social activist (he was a founder of the Green Party) and educator, Beuys’s philosophy proposed the healing power and social function of art in which all people can participate and benefit. His works are based on what he called ‘constellations of ideas’ and can incorporate any kind of material or object to represent these ideas according to their various inherent properties or purposes. From the 1950s onwards many of his works are made from or allude to a distinctive group of materials in particular, felt, fat and copper for their insulating, conductive and protective, transmitting and transforming properties. Beuys produced a vast body of work that bridges art and science and includes performance, drawing, print-making, sculpture and installation. His complex interlocking themes cover archaeology, geology, anthropology, zoology, myth, history intuition, medicine, energy and communication, amongst others. Beuys’s own image and life story is inextricably linked to his work and he registers as a shamanistic presence throughout his oeuvre. This group of works brings together important subjects from the sixties such as the Fat Chair with later works from the eighties culminating with the important Scala Napoletana which dates from the period of Beuys’s final work Palazzo Regale. It was made at the same time in Naples, only a few months before his death, and relates to the same theme of the shaman/king’s death and communication with the beyond.

Tate’s holdings include: Animal Woman, 1949 cast 1984; Bed, 1950; Bathtub for a Heroine, 1950, cast 1984; Fat Battery, 1963; Felt Suit 1970; Four Blackboards, 1972; Untitled (Vitrine), 1983; The End of the Twentieth Century and Three Part Drawing, 1983; as well as a number of prints. The NGS holds a complete collection of Beuys’s multiples, but only one sculpture, Three Pots for the Poorhouse, 1974. The addition of ARTIST ROOMS, which includes a large number of important early sculptural works and a unique and important group of drawings, offers the opportunity of establishing a comprehensive national collection of the artist’s work, covering major themes over a range of media. The group of  drawings is one of the finest in existence and represents an aspect of Beuys’s activity not currently represented in either Tate or NGS’s collection. Together with key works such as Scala Napoletana, the Donation will create a public collection of international importance.

Vija Celmins born 1938

One room comprising 24 works on paper, including three unique drawings: Untitled (Desert-Galaxy), 1974; Night Sky #19, 1998; and Web #1, 1999.

American artist Vija Celmins makes paintings, drawings and prints. Using charcoal, graphite and erasers she produces delicate monochromatic images based on photographs of the sea, deserts, the night sky and other natural phenomena. Through her slow rigorous approach, the meticulous precision of her technique, and serial exploration of her subjects, Celmins seems to question the nature of representation. The seminal drawing Web #1 is typical of her apparently fragile, ephemeral images and is the first of nine works on the theme of the spider’s web made between 1998 and 2006. It is accompanied by a series of four ‘web’ prints from 2001 and 2002. These web images echo the web-like construction of the universe in her parallel preoccupation. Among other works in the Donation are a series from the 1980s Concentric Bearings and two negative images of night-skies in which the sky appears white and star formations are transformed into black markings. All these works focus on something small and individual in the context of vastness. The images they depict seem fragile because they record a specific human glimpse through a telescope or camera which is ephemeral and frozen in time. Yet the subjects are strong and timeless and beyond our comprehension in the detail of their existence. 

These works will be the first by Celmins to join the NGS collection, and will significantly augment the four lithographs from the 1970s by the artist currently held in Tate’s collection (Sky 1975, Galaxy 1975, Ocean 1975, Desert 1975).

Gilbert & George b. 1943, b. 1942

Two rooms comprising nine works: an early magazine sculpture, George the Cunt and Gilbert the Shit, 1970; Crusade, 1980; Fallen Leaves, 1980; Thirst, 1982; Hunger, 1982; Existers,1984, Family Tree, 1991; Light Headed, 1991; Faith Drop, 1991.

Gilbert & George have been important figures in the international art world since 1970. Working as a pair and presenting themselves as ‘living sculpture’, incorporating themselves and their lives into their art, they set out to provoke their viewers, to make them think and question conventions and taboos. In the key 1970 magazine sculpture included in ARTIST ROOMS they are smiling up at the viewer with cut-out letters pinned to their chests, which read ‘George the Cunt’ and Gilbert the Shit’ respectively. Their early work emphasised the artists’ own image, their place as misfits in society and their concept of ‘art for all’. But by the late seventies they had moved beyond the enclosed spaces of their house, their drinking and their life as artists, to explore the world and the people around them in the East End of London. The ‘Dirty Words’ series focused on graffiti photographed in the streets of the city. Gilbert and George were now not just taking art to the people but incorporating the people into the art. At the same time they declared their purpose was to find and accept all that was good and bad in themselves. The big multi-part brightly coloured works from the eighties in ARTIST ROOMS come mainly from this period of huge energy and change, when Gilbert and George were also developing new and specifically modern techniques of photography and printing to make their art appropriate to the people with and for whom it was made. Throughout the decade they also exhibited their work around the world in a highly modern way, masses of huge brightly coloured images made from glazed panels arranged and hung according to their precise instructions. 

Tate holds only two works by Gilbert & George from the eighties. The strong group of major works of the period in ARTIST ROOMS would greatly enhance the emotional and environmental impact of their multi-part works in the collection. The NGS only holds one work by Gilbert & George, Exhausted, 1951; the addition of the works from ARTIST ROOMS will enable proper representation of their work in Scotland. 

Johan Grimonprezborn 1962

One room video installation dial H-I-S-T-0-R-Y, 1997.

The young Belgian artist and film-maker Johan Grimonprez came to prominence when his highly acclaimed one-hour video montage, dial H-I-S-T-0-R-Y was first shown at Documenta X in 1997. Using found television and video footage the artist traced the history of airplane highjackings, from 1931 up to 1997, to reflect upon the concept of history and its documentation. The video footage and televised images of hijackings are juxtaposed with clips referencing the Cold War and other collective activities, while a voiceover reads quotations from Don DeLillo’s novels White Noise and Mao II. While the title suggests the possibility of ‘calling up’ history, the work highlights the subjective conditions under which any connection can be made or any conclusion drawn. Grimonprez draws attention to both the abundance of information available via the television and the missing links – the knowledge that hidden or unseen events occur that cannot be recorded – and thus presents the viewer with the potential impossibility of recording historical fact. dial H-I-S-T-0-R-Y will be the first work by Grimonprez to enter both Tate and NGS.

Ian Hamilton Finlay 1925-2006

One-room installation, Sailing Dinghy, 1996, comprising sailing boat and poem

Ian Hamilton Finlay combines his love of nature, his garden and the sea with his love of literature and the potency of words. In the 1960s he was widely known as one of Britain’s foremost concrete poets, but went on to extend his ideas beyond the printed page to become objects in the world. His work, often collaborative and in a wide variety of materials including stone carvings,  constructions and neon lighting, is a unique blend of art and poetry. The room installation Sailing Dinghy encapsulates the artist’s passion and affection for ships and the sea. It consists of a boat used by Hamilton Finlay himself, accompanied by a poem which evokes its movement.  Much of his early poetry concerns sailing and fishing boats.

Tate has extensive holdings of Ian Hamilton Finlay’s work – the majority of these (130) are works on paper and they are complemented by a number of artist’s books and thirty-nine objects including sculptures, reliefs and installations. Similarly, the NGS has important and extensive holdings of Hamilton Finlay’s works on paper and smaller objects. Sailing Dinghy relates to many of the artist’s works in both Tate’s and NGS’s collection which also explore ships, the sea and sailing (mostly smaller scale works on paper or sculptures in glass), and will be the first monumental work by the artist to enter Tate and NGS collections.

 Damien Hirst born 1965

One room featuring five works: the largest early spot painting in the series, Controlled Substances Key Painting, 1994; the important formaldehyde piece, Away from the Flock, 1994; the significant recent triptych, Trinity – Pharmacology, Physiology, Pathology, 2000;  the very large butterfly diptych, Monument to the Living and the Dead, 2006; and a photograph, With Dead Head, 1981/1991.

Damien Hirst is the most prominent artist to have emerged from the British art scene in the 1990s. His role as an artist and curator has proved fundamental in the development of the group, mainly from Goldsmiths College, that became internationally known as ‘the YBAs’. Hirst’s work forces viewers to question their understanding of issues such as the fragility of life, our reluctance to confront death and decay and other dilemmas of human existence. He is best known for his ‘Natural History’ works – large-scale sculptures featuring dead animals floating in Minimalist looking vitrines – but also for his mirrored pharmacy cabinets lined with shelves full of evenly spaced drug bottles, pills, sea shells or cigarette butts, and his paintings, which he produces in series. An example of these, included in ARTIST ROOMS, is the early Controlled Substances Key Painting (Spot 4a): a canvas where a grid of dots of different colours is accompanied by letters in alphabetical order that seem to dissect and reorganise the very matter of painting into cells. Also included in ARTIST ROOMS is the key work Away from the Flock, a version of which was first exhibited in Some Went Mad, Some Ran Away which Hirst curated for the Serpentine Gallery in 1994. This work, which features a sheep floating in formaldehyde, represents an important step in Hirst’s practice: on this occasion, rather than the safety we might experience when contemplating a dead shark, what resonates in this clinical display of dead matter, is the religious theme of the death of an innocent lamb. The large butterfly diptych Monument to the Living and the Dead, 2006 was made specifically for ARTIST ROOMS.

Tate currently holds two sculptural works by Hirst: the early cabinet piece Works Without Life,1991 and the installation Pharmacy, 1992, as well as the portfolio of prints The Last Supper, 1999and one other print from a mixed portfolio. Tate has also been working with the artist to extend its holdings. The NGS holds two paintings by Hirst, a collaborative work with Paul Simonon from 1998, the other a ‘spin’ painting of 1996; it also owns one small cabinet-work containing needles and syringes from 1995; and a set of the print series, The Last Supper, 1999.

Jenny Holzer born 1950 

One room comprising a digital text piece BLUE PURPLE TILT,2007 and two paintings Protect Protect and Shape the Battlefield, both 2007.

The conceptual artist Jenny Holzer came to prominence in the late 1970s. She uses provocative statements in exhibitions or other public places to elicit debate. Her text-based works present and call into question the rhetorical strategies of different forms of speech and writing, from philosophical tracts to fundamentalist preaching. The selection of works from ARTIST ROOMS demonstrates the flexibility of her approach. BLUE PURPLE TILT consists of seven double-sided vertical LED signs on which a selection of messages from several of Holzer’s early text series run. Protect Protect and Shape the Battlefield are two large paintings from a recent series in which Holzer presents declassified American military documents relating to the current war in Iraq.

Tate’s holdings of Holzer’s work includes one electronic text piece Truisms, 1984and a portfolio of prints, Inflammatory Essays,1979-82. ARTIST ROOMS will enable Tate to update its representation of the socio-political aspect of her work. The NGS holds no work by the artist and so will be able to present Holzer for the first time.

Alex Katz born 1927

One room comprising a group of 20 small paintings.

The American painter Alex Katz began working in the 1950s, focusing on figurative subjects which set him apart from the avant-garde mainstream but brought him public recognition in the 1980s when many young artists began to work in related ways. Primarily working from life, Katz produces images in which line and form are expressed through carefully composed strokes and planes of flat colour. Although best-known for large-scale portraits, painted in his distinctive, stylised manner, Katz has also consistently made small paintings primarily as studies, which function as independent pieces and which can be considered as a distinct body of work. This group of twenty small paintings in ARTIST ROOMS spans his career. The collection also shows the artist’s preoccupation with landscape and in many of the works Katz tends towards a more expressionistic approach, with reductive compositions such as Green Shadow #2,1998 and 3pm, November, 1997 that display a debt to Japanese art in their close-up, cropped compositions.

Tate holds one painting Hiroshi and Marcia, 1981 and a single print, Dark Eyes, 2000. The NGS has no holdings of Katz’s work. The sequence of paintings in ARTIST ROOMS offers a distinct and well-rounded introduction to Katz’s spare, flattened style.

Anselm Kiefer born 1945

Three rooms comprising six works: three early paintings (Palette, 1981, Urd Werdande Skuld (The Norns), 1983 and Man under a Pyramid, 1996); a landscape painting; and two major installations (Cette obscure clarté qui tombe des étoiles, 1999 and Palmsonntag, 2006).

A key figure in European post-war culture Anselm Kiefer’s art derives from his vast awareness of history, theology, mythology, literature and philosophy and an extraordinary ability to work with all kinds of materials from lead to concrete, from straw to human hair and sunflower seeds. He grew up near the French border on the Rhine. France was the land of his dreams on the other side of the river. In his early work he set out to understand Germany’s recent history, then still a taboo subject and one which inevitably aroused criticism and misunderstanding when he attempted it. He was interested in Beuys’s work and visited him but was not a pupil of his. Pictures of this period show Kiefer setting out on his journey, walking through a forest holding a burning branch. Later works draw on German military history, Wagnerian mythology and Nazi architecture to grapple with the possibility of pursuing creativity in the light of catastrophic human suffering. Kiefer’s technique of layering paint and debris gives visceral life to his preoccupations with decay and re-creation. ARTIST ROOMS includes major works from across the artist’s career. Palette, 1981 expands on his theme painting = burning which will cleanse the countryside and cauterize the wound inflicted by Nazism. Here painting is symbolised by a palette suspended above a smouldering abyss by a rope which is alight in several places. The painting Urd, Werdande, Skuld refers to the norns or fates of Germanic mythology whose names are Past, Present and Future and who sit by the well at the foot of the Yggdrasil, spinning or weaving the fate of men. They are an invisible presence in the grandiose vaulted emptiness of one of the un-built monuments to the delusion of the Third Reich. After the reunification of Germany Kiefer moved to Barjac in the South of France in 1992 where he continued to develop preoccupations he had already initiated but which also had wider implications. His exploration of revolution in generation and in particular The Women of the Revolution began in Germany and expanded to include Women of Antiquity. His study of ancient belief systems such as the Kabbala also grew. He travelled widely, to South America, India, China and Australia. His painting took on both a world and a cosmic view. In Barjac he worked on an ever larger scale. Confronted with the plants, climate and history of the South of France, inevitably sunflowers made their way into his work. He became increasingly interested in natural cycles, and in Robert Fludd’s theories about the lives of plants, the microcosm and the macrocosm, and his suggestion that for every plant there exists a correlated star. Man under a Pyramid, 1996 reflects the artist’s interest in exploring his mind and body through meditation and in relating it to the stars and the cosmos through the pyramid, in this case seen in the form of a large crumbling stone pyramid from the ancient remains of Mexico or Egypt. Cette obscure clarté qui tombe des étoiles (The dark light that falls from the stars) is a favourite line from Le Cid by Corneille which came to mind when Kiefer began to work with sunflowers ‘There was an obvious parallel with the black seeds on the flower and the night and the stars. The seeds were the stars. When I stuck them on a white canvas they became inverted stars, black on white like a negative.’ Kiefer’s preoccupation with the stars has now developed further into various huge paintings of star maps. The huge installation Palm Sunday, 2006, which refers to the Christian holy day, the Sunday before Easter, combines the balance between death and resurrection, decay and recreation so characteristic of Kiefer’s work. The theme of Palm Sunday is the triumph before the betrayal, and death. There is some sense that nature is the betrayed in the fallen palm and framed ossuary of branches which covers the wall, though regeneration is always a possibility.

Tate holds four works by Kiefer: Parsifal I-III, 1973; a book of woodcuts, The Rhine, 1981; Lilith, 1987-9; and Let a Thousand Flower Bloom, 2000. NGS has no holdings of Kiefer’s work. The rich holdings found in ARTIST ROOMS will complement the works held in Tate’s collection, and make available, for the first time, many important works by Kiefer across the United Kingdom.

Jeff Koons born 1955

Two rooms comprising 17 works: New Hoover Convertibles, 1981-7; a basketball piece, Encased, 1983-1993; Winter Bears, 1988; the billboard Made in Heaven, 1989; Mound of Flowers, 1991; Bourgeois Bust – Jeff and Illona, 1991; a rare set of nine Easyfun mirrors, 1999; Caterpillar (with chains), 2002 and a portfolio of prints, Art Magazine Ads, 1988-89.

Through his use first of everyday items such as vacuum cleaners and basketballs and later by creating oversized kitsch objects, Jeff Koons reflects upon the power of consumer industries and the aesthetics and culture of taste. Although Koons makes use of the kind of references reminiscent of Pop Art his means of production, first in the studio and then demanding total perfection from specialists in each chosen medium, far outstrips anything from that earlier period. His perfectionism is legendary. Drawing together a range of styles and spanning a broad chronology from early 1980s to the late 1990s, the works in ARTIST ROOMS highlight some of the artist’s most important series. In New Hoover Convertibles Koons preserves a banal, household object as a new commodity in perpetuity making its function obsolete within a contained vitrine. The idea of protected perfection is at the heart of Encased, from the artist’s series of basketball works, in which Koons sought to achieve constant equilibrium by suspending the balls in liquid. Winter Bears was first shown in Koons’s landmark exhibition Banality. The carved wooden figures derive from popular figurines, blown up to mammoth proportions to create a sculpture that is at once familiar yet grotesque. Koons’s fascination with kitsch and Baroque styles is also found in Mound of Flowers and the Bourgeois Bust, a marble sculpture which depicts the artist and his wife, Ilona. This portrait bust is part of a larger body of work in which Koons and Illona starred in their own erotic romance, documented through a series of sculpture and photographic works. The billboard Made in Heaven and the Art Magazine Ads use standard advertising methods and were made to publicise the project.

Tate holds just one work by Koons from 1985, Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank. NGS has no holdings of the artist’s work. The substantial group of works in ARTIST ROOMS touches on the full range of Koons’s complex and diverse oeuvre and offers the possibility of an in depth display of the artist’s work for the first time at Tate and NGS and across the United Kingdom.

Jannis Kounellis born 1936

Four rooms comprising 16 works: three important early works dating between 1960 and 1971; three more recent large-scale installations, two wall-hung multi-media works, and eight multiples dating from c.1989-1991 and 2001-2005.

Born in Piraeus, living and working in Rome since 1956, Jannis Kounellis was a seminal contributor to the radically and internationally influential Arte Povera group and he continues to inspire young artists today. Often epic in scale, Kounellis’s work possesses a grandeur that reflects his frequent choice of themes and ideas from the past and emphasises the fragmentary relationship the past has with the present. The works in ARTIST ROOMS span Kounellis’s career and represent the rich diversity of this important artist’s work. The group includes a rare and important early painting of 1960 from the series in which the artist drew freehand the basic elements of written communication, letters, numbers and arrows to make paintings and drawings on paper or thin canvas, and then filled in with black enamel paint. In the poetic Untitled, 1971 Kounellis painted an extract from the score of Bach’s St John Passion on a dark green canvas and had a cellist playing music from the oratorio in front of it on the occasion of its first exhibition. The Donation also includes Kounellis’s well-known Arte Povera work Untitled, 1969 with sacks containing lentils, rice, peas, corn, beans, potatoes and coffee. Kounellis is known for his combinations of antithetical materials such as sacking, beans, cotton, metal and wool. The multiples, conceived of as small contained sculptures produced in editions, draw together his most significant media and offer an excellent introduction to his work.

Tate holds three unique works: a wood and wool sculpture from 1968, a multi-media installation from 1979 and a work on paper from 1983, as well as a print portfolio from 1999. NGS has no holdings of Kounellis’ art. The wealth of works included in ARTIST ROOMS will revolutionise the way in which Kounellis can be represented in both collections.

Richard Long born 1945

Two rooms featuring eight works: two sculptures (Somerset Willow Line, 1980 and Cornish Slate Ellipse, to be made 2009); four works on paper (A Line Made by Walking, 1967; In the Cloud, 1991; River Avon Mud drawings, 1988; River Avon Mud Slow Hand Spiral, 2005); a multiple (Nile (Papers of River Muds)), 1999; and the River Avon Book.

Richard Long first became known during the late 1960s and soon became known as an important figure in both the international and British art worlds. He leads a generation of distinguished British artists who wanted to extend the possibilities of sculpture beyond the confines of work in traditional materials and to give it meaningful existence as part of the place in which it is made, so that work, artist and place interact and become one. The other important, and particularly revolutionary, aspect of his work is the relationship between movement and time which affects everything in existence. Long’s work is rooted in his deep affinity with nature, developed during solitary walks. Most of these take him through uncultivated areas, in Britain or as far afield as Nepal, Africa, Mexico and Bolivia. While travelling he sets himself specific tasks, such as walking a straight line for a predetermined distance, following the source of a river, or picking up and then dropping stones at certain intervals along the way. Long never makes permanent alterations to the landscapes he passes through. Instead he adjusts nature’s placement of rocks or wood to form simple, geometric shapes, sometimes working in the landscape and sometimes bringing the natural materials into a gallery.  He documents his journeys with photographs, maps, wall drawings and printed statements, which evoke his personal responses to the landscapes. He has said that his aim is to explore ‘relationships between time, distance, geography and measurement’.  However, Long has also said that whereas photographs and text works feed the imagination, sculptures feed the sense. Walking and works made in the landscape are only half the story. Urban and rural worlds are mutually dependent and have equal significance in his work.

The selection of sculptures and works on paper by Richard Long included in ARTIST ROOMS will both augment and complement Tate’s existing holdings of the artist, which currently consist of 41 works. The additional works such as the River Avon Mud drawings 1988, of which Tate holds none, will enable Tate to present a comprehensive account of the artist’s way of working. NGS has a modest but growing collection of work by the artist, who has a special connection with Scotland through his interest in its landscape. This includes one site-specific outdoor sculpture and one large slate floor piece. The addition of ARTIST ROOMS will enable NGS to show the wider range of media used by this important artist.

Sol LeWitt 1928-2007

One-room installation Wall Drawing #1136, 2004, straight and non-straight colour bands.

Regarded as one of the pillars of wisdom in the international art community Sol LeWitt was an important pioneer of Conceptual and Minimalist art during the 1960s. The first line of his Notes on Conceptual Art reads ‘Conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions which logic cannot reach’. His early sculptural works using geometric shapes, seriality and pre-determined structures broke away from the personal and emotive gestures dominant in Abstract Expressionism. Taking the form of a set of instructions which are then produced by assistants, the artist’s numerous Wall Drawings employ systems which enable line and colour to exist as independent entities. Wall Drawing #1136, 2004 is a late example where vibrantly coloured straight and non-straight lines are painted directly onto the four walls of a gallery space to create a three-dimensional environment which surrounds the viewer.

NGS holds one installation, Five Modular Structures, dating from 1972, and two works on paper from 1971 and 1973. Tate has built up a good collection of LeWitt’s work, including important print portfolios dating from 1971 to 1999, and five unique works dating between 1965 and 1981 (Untitled, 1965, painted aluminium; A Wall Divided Vertically…, 1970, graphite on wall; Two Open Modular Cubes/Half-Off, 1972, enamelled aluminium; Five Open Geometric Structures, 1979; and Six Geometric Figures (+ Two) (Wall Drawings) 1980-81). Neither institution currently represents a major installation from the artist’s late career, nor his concern with colour. Wall Drawing # 1136 will therefore provide the ability to show a survey of LeWitt’s oeuvre and offers the possibility of an in-depth display in Scotland for the first time.


Robert Mapplethorpe 1946-1989

Three rooms comprising a major collection of 64 black and white photographs, including 17 vintage prints signed by the artist.

The American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe pushed the boundaries of his medium with both his subject matter and innovative techniques. Originally trained as a sculptor, his understanding of the human body in relation to the light which reveals it also extends his photographs beyond the boundaries of sculpture in a way that has yet to be surpassed in either medium. His distinctive style possesses a classical quality that revels in the sensual quality of nature and the human body. His work was often considered controversial but Mapplethorpe triumphed over legal campaigns testing the right to individual freedom of expression. His work therefore also holds a significant place in the history of artistic struggle to depict the world as it is with honesty and truth. The group of photographs in ARTIST ROOMS, probably the best collection in the world after the Guggenheim Museum, includes studies of flowers, portraits of many of the most influential artists, writers and musicians of the period, including Andy Warhol, Truman Capote and Patti Smith, and iconic self-portraits.

Mapplethorpe is not currently represented by either Tate or NGS. As with the work of Diane Arbus, this body of photographs will have a significant impact on Tate’s and NGS’s capacity to represent the history of photography.

Agnes Martin 1912-2004

One room featuring three 1990s paintings: Untitled #5, 1994; Happy Holiday, 1999; and Faraway Love,1999.

Agnes Martin’s career as one of America’s foremost abstract painters spans nearly five decades. Her earliest works from the 1960s are characterised by large, grid-based compositions. Later Martin reduced the scale of her square canvases and shifted her work to use bands of ethereal colour. These works move between a preoccupation with ordered geometry and the irregularity created by hand-drawn pencil lines. She viewed this deliberate inconsistency which undermines the possibility of geometric perfection, as analogous to the human condition. The three paintings from Martin’s later career held in ARTIST ROOMS exemplify her exquisite handling of paint. The delicate colours appear to project beyond the picture plane to engage all the senses. Happy Holiday and Faraway Love come from a sequence of paintings from the late 1990s in which the artist used titles to evoke states of euphoria, contentment and memories of past happiness.

Tate owns one early painting by Agnes Martin, Morning, 1965. NGS has no holdings of Martin’s work. The addition of these three paintings by Martin from the 1990s will add a fresh dimension to Tate’s holdings of minimalism and geometric abstraction and will greatly compliment the NGS’s small but important holding of post-War minimalist and abstract works by Judd, Flavin, LeWitt and others.

Ron Mueck born 1958

One room featuring three sculptures: Wild Man, 2005; Spooning Couple, 2005; and Mask III, 2005.

Ron Mueck has become internationally recognised for his unique realist sculptures that replicate the human figure with unrivalled technical skill. The powerful psychological range of Mueck’s sculpture focuses not only on universal experiences of birth, life and death but on emotional states such as isolation, fear and tenderness. The three works in ARTIST ROOMS represent the scope of Mueck’s approach to the human condition, from the uneasy intimacy of Spooning Couple, the vulnerability of the giant Wild Man,and enigmatic half-smile in Mask III.  He first became widely known for his sculpture Dead Dad shown in Sensation in 1997. His use of widely different scales would not be considered strange within the conventions of painting but has a particularly strong effect in this realist sculpture.  It is part of the artist’s relationship with his subject and the meaning of the work.

Tate has one sculpture by Mueck: Ghost 1998. The NGS also has one sculpture: Girl, 2007. These three sculptures will therefore greatly improve representation of the artist, and will enable Mueck’s work to be shown widely throughout the United Kingdom.

Bruce Nauman born 1941

Two rooms featuring: Changing Light Corridor with Rooms, 1971; a floor installation with preparatory drawings, Enforced Perspective: Allegory and Symbolism, 1975; a unique neon piece, La Brea/Art Tips/Rat Spit/Tar Pits, 1972; two sculptures (Untitled (Hand Circle), 1996 and Partial Truth, 1997), a unique video piece, Raw Materials Washing Hands, 1996; and two further video works dated 1986 and 1999.

Since the mid 1960s Bruce Nauman has been one of the most highly respected and influential figures in contemporary art. He is noted for his toughness, his refusal to compromise, his exploratory way of working and his search for self-knowledge. His work combines bodily consciousness physical activity, mental activity, linguistic manipulation and a good splash of humour. It also focuses on perception, spatial relationships, human psychology and issues of life and death (20 of his sculptures refer to dying). Early in his career he abandoned painting in favour of sculpture, performance, installation, film, video, photography and neon (amongst other activities). His restless intellect seems to drive a continual questioning experiment and re-invention in his artistic practice. The works in ARTIST ROOMS cover nearly thirty years and a wide range of his work in different media. The unique early neon La Brea/Art Tips/Rat Spit/Tar Pits creates an anagrammatic play on the place name La Brea Tar Pits, a prehistoric site excavated in Los Angeles. It demonstrates Nauman’s interest in spacial and linguistic ambiguity. Changing Light Corridor with Rooms is one of many corridor works where psychology and physical matter interact. They involve and control the participating viewer and became increasingly complex and interactive.

Nauman is an artist whom Tate has committed to represent in depth, in order that visitors can experience his consistently diverse practice. All the pieces included in ARTIST ROOMS will significantly add to those already held by Tate. The NGS holds no work by Nauman and welcomes the possibility of representing in depth the work of an artist who has impacted so significantly on generations of younger artists.

Gerhard Richter born 1932

Three rooms comprising 14 works including: two sculptures (Two Sculptures for a Room by Palermo, 1971 and 11 Scheiben (11 Sheets of Glass), 2004; two important early paintings (Brigid Polk, 1971 and Gilbert, George, 1975); three mirror paintings dated 1991; four abstract paintings dating between 1994 and 2004; two works on paper (Untitled, 1985 and Self-Portrait Standing, Three Times, 17.3.1991, 1991); and the important photographic work, 48 Portraits, 1971/1998.

Gerhard Richter was born in Dresden, which after World War II became part of the German Democratic Republic. He left the DDR shortly before the Berlin Wall went up in 1962 and settled in Düsseldorf. He has since become one of the world’s most successful and influential artists. In the mid-1960s Düsseldorf was one of the most stimulating places to be. The arts clashed with the economic miracle. The Fluxus movement, including Joseph Beuys, was staging its events. Richter had his first one-man show with Alfred Schmela in 1964, Beuys exhibited there in 1965. The future gallery owner Konrad Fischer together with Richter and others created the short-lived movement Capitalist Realism. Richter exhibited several of his early works based on photographs in his 1964 exhibition. Although he felt that art needed to be shaken up at this time, he never considered giving up painting. Richter began his ongoing investigation into the process of painting at this time, and as can be seen from his book entitled The Daily Practice of Painting (1992), it has sustained him ever since. His work generally demands a long period of gestation. The most flamboyant-seeming abstract marks are precisely applied. There always has to be a good reason for what and how he paints. He identified three broad areas of activity in painting: figurative, constructive and abstract. But the categories overlap and the artist may also use early works as a reservoir of ideas to be developed later. During the 1960s and into the 1970s Richter’s work was primarily figurative but the realist tendency is always balanced by the care the artist takes to distance it from naturalism, by using photographs. He paints his images in shades of grey, or in black and white, and blurs and simplifies them by brushing over the wet paint. This arbitrary intervention also disassociates the work from the personal responses of the artist and makes it seem more abstract. In portraits such as ARTIST ROOMS’s Brigid Polk (1971) and Gilbert, George (1975), there is a similar blurring effect. In 48 Portraits (1971/1998) realism is tempered by the black and white photo reproduction source from an encyclopaedia which makes these images seem both primitive and iconic, and perhaps closer to propaganda than portraiture. Just as Richter has always maintained that in portraiture he prefers to paint from photographs as a means of keeping his personal reactions out of the picture, when dealing with an abstract situation Richter always maintains a connection with the world of reality outside the picture. His coloured mirrors bring the outside world into them, though their dark colours present a world of shadows. Since the 1970s Richter has made many purely abstract paintings which concentrate on the often dramatic reality of colour, brushstroke and texture, but these can sometimes reveal contrary existences beneath the final surface. ARTIST ROOMS covers all aspects of the artist’s complex practice and includes unique works in many different media from the sculpture Two Sculptures for a Room by Palermo (1971) to the recent glass sculpture 11 Scheiben (2004).

The NGS holds no works by Richter, while Tate’s holdings of six works (a print, Elizabeth II, 1966; four abstract paintings dating between 1977 and 1990, and a painting on photograph, Self-portrait, Three Times, 24.1.90, 1990) do not currently present the multiplicity of Richter’s oeuvre; ARTIST ROOMS will therefore have a crucial impact on the representation of this significant artist across the United Kingdom.

Ed Ruscha born 1937

One room comprising 22 works, including five paintings and 17 works on paper.

Ed Ruscha’s exploration of language and American West Coast culture centred on Hollywood has made him one of the pre-eminent artists of his generation. Since the early 1960s he has channelled his fascination with words and the act of communication into books, printmaking, drawing and painting. His work has much in common with Pop Art, but while Ruscha’s carefully planned paintings and drawings draw on popular references and mass media, his playful use of irony, paradox and absurdist juxtapositions have set him firmly apart from any movement. ARTIST ROOMS holds a remarkable survey of Ruscha’s work dating between 1962 and 2005 including an important group of drawings and several key paintings that explore the various series that the artist has made since the 1960s. Early works such as Honk, 1962 and Dance?, 1973 depict single, pithy words in strong typographic format, while the catch-phrase drawings of the mid-1970s such as I plead insanity because I’m just crazy about that little girl, 1976invoke vernacular language against single fields of colour. A more brooding atmosphere emerges in the later series, The End, which illustrates the words with imagery that recalls fading film credits. The artist’s enjoyment of the contradictory and illogical is at play in the mountain paintings, a sequence of works begun in the late 1990s in which sublime alpine landscapes form the backdrop for banal statements, as found in Pay Nothing Until April, 2003.

Tate holds just one painting, The End #1, 1993, two unique works on paper, Trademark #5, 1962 and Gas, 1962, and a number of lithographs; the NGS holds three major works on paper and a collection of first editions of his celebrated books.

Robert Therrien born 1947

Two rooms comprising five works: a single-room installation, Red Room, 2000-7; the unique No Title (Table and Four Chairs), 2003; an editioned object, No Title (oil can), 2004; a unique photograph, No Title (scrubbrush panel), 1997; and a found brick paper drawing dated 2003.

Robert Therrien presents a world of the unexpected filled with objects which are both familiar and strange. It can seem a fairytale place of deceptively childish charm and logic where ideas can literally be translated into reality. Inanimate things can become strikingly animated, soft and light become hard and heavy and size seems out of control. During the 1980s the artist began to make objects with simple recognizable shapes such as jugs, coffins and doors, transforming them through a variety of media including copper, wood and bronze. This developed his engagement with the notion of the found object, addressed most explicitly in his found brick paper drawings. His work with changing scale began in the early 1990s. Some objects he uses are found, some are made by and for the artist. His use of domestic images might suggest an interest in the spatial world of still-life but his interest in the human body’s interaction with space is more connected to architecture. Therrien’s images and the objects he selects expose the hidden drama of the unnoticed, invisible, physical and mental relationships which exist in the world of human beings, between human beings and between the objects they create to help them live their lives.ARTIST ROOMS comprises a group of exemplary works which express both the ambition and surrealism of Therrien’s practice, including a room-sized version of table and chairs from 2003 and a recent, striking installation, Red Room, 2007.

Therrien is represented at Tate with just one object-based work from 1991 and a print portfolio dating from 1995. The NGS has no holdings of the artist. 

Bill Viola born 1951

One room comprising two works: Catherine’s Room, 2001 and Four Hands, 2001.

Viola was one of the earliest artists to utilise film and video in a fine-art context and through his depictions of raw human emotion has achieved popular acclaim in recent years. He has continued to utilise progressively more advanced equipment to realize works in which the technology can be hidden in order to focus on highly staged moving images. Influenced by both Western and Eastern art history and spiritual practices, Viola’s work frequently evokes mystical or religious experience. Catherine’s Room,  based on a fourteenth-century predella by Andrea di Bartolo, presents scenes from the life of St Catherine across a sequence of five screens, using contrasts of light and dark to dramatic effect. Four Hands concentrates on actions made by a pair of disembodied hands reminiscent of Indian ‘mudras’, the symbolic gestures of Buddhist and Hindu religious iconography. Both works characterise the more intimate aspects of Viola’s practice, which can be contrasted with his monumental projects dealing with universal themes of birth, death and regeneration.

Tate holds two works by Viola: Nantes Triptych, 1992 and Five Angels of the Millenium, 2001 (the latter is jointly owned by the Whitney Museum, New York and Centre Pompidou, Paris). NGS has one double-screen work by Viola, Surrender, 2001, presented by Anne and Anthony d’Offay in 2003 (through the Art Fund). The two works in ARTIST ROOMS will allow audiences throughout the United Kingdom to engage more fully with the artist’s work.

Andy Warhol 1928-1987

Six rooms comprising 232 works, surveying the artist’s career through a range of media. The package includes 20 paintings (including important diptychs and self-portraits); 32 photographs; 50 early drawings and watercolours dating from c.1950s-1962; 4 drawings dating between 1974 and 1981; 126 posters.              

Andy Warhol is the most influential artist of the post-war period. The most famous proponent of Pop Art, his earliest works depict consumer goods and images from the popular press. Many of his most powerful images betray his enduring fascination with celebrity and mortality. The selection from ARTIST ROOMS includes a staggering array of important works representing all phases of the artist’s career and a cross-section of media. Particular highlights are the unique collection of 50 early works on paper as well as the iconic multiple Skulls, 1976 and the multiple Self-portrait Strangulation, 1978. The collection includes a unique room of late diptychs as well as the celebrated four part Camouflage of 1986 which were the central exhibit in the Andy Warhol retrospective at the National Gallery of Scotland in 2007. ARTIST ROOMS includes a group of spectacular stitched photographs as well as a series of Polaroid self-portraits. The collection is complemented by 126 Warhol posters from all periods of the artist’s career, including his films.

ARTIST ROOMS will revolutionize the nation’s holdings of Warhol’s work, providing the UK with a collection of international stature. As a resource for research and as an educational tool, it will enable Tate’s existing holdings of Warhol, which are in frequent demand, to travel more widely. Tate holds four unique, screenprinted works: Marilyn Diptych, 1962; Electric Chair, 1964; Self-portrait, 1967; a second, later Self-portrait dated 1986; and a number of prints including three portfolios: Marilyn, 1967; Electric Chairs, 1971; and Mao, 1972. The NGS’s holdings are minimal: one print from the 1965 Eleven Pop Artists, vol. II portfolio, and a late painting, Maurice, of 1975  The artist’s important photographic practice remains unrepresented, as do his earlier drawings and watercolours and his large-scale monographic paintings of hamburgers, dollars and other ‘American’ symbols. All of these types of works are featured in ARTIST ROOMS along with important portraits including those of Beuys, Man Ray and Gilbert & George. To acquire this collection alone would be an impossible feat; ARTIST ROOMS therefore offers a rare and exciting opportunity to represent in-depth one of the dominant artists of the twentieth century.    

Lawrence Weiner born 1942

One room comprising a cycle of 10 wall text pieces from 1988.

Lawrence Weiner’s use of language as his primary tool has marked him out as one of the principal protagonists of conceptual art. He focuses on the interaction between the art work and the ‘receiver’ – the audience who encounters the work in some form. Much of his work takes the form of language. He makes ‘statements’, which then have the potential to be inscribed as a written text on a gallery wall, spoken as dialogue on a video, printed in a book or poster, sung, or even tattooed onto the skin. This cycle of wall text works from 1988 features ten separate phrases including ROUGHLY RIPPED APART and SILVER THREADS ENTWINED IN THREADS OF GOLD.

Tate holds 16 works including installations, prints and drawings dating from 1990, 1991 and 2005, a group which was built to develop a context for language-based strands of conceptual art within Tate’s Collection. The cycle of ten statements from 1988 in ARTIST ROOMS will complement and enhance these foundations and will enable Tate to represent an earlier moment in the artist’s career. The NGS holds no work by Weiner, allowing him to be represented in Scotland in for the first time.

Francesca Woodman 1958–1981

One room comprising 18 rare vintage black and white photographs, the collection once owned by the artist’s boyfriend.

Woodman’s photographs exhibit the influence of surrealism and have a timeless quality that is ethereal and unique. Many of her self-portraits present her in otherwise deserted interior spaces, where her body almost merges with its surroundings, covered by sections of peeling wallpaper, half hidden behind the flat plane of a door, or crouching over a mirror. Often using slow exposures that blur her moving figure into a ghostly presence, Woodman seems to combine performance with self-exposure, suggesting the exploration of extreme psychological states.

Tate currently holds no works by the artist. NGS recently purchased a small group of 5 photographs, acquired to extend the parameters of its outstanding Surrealist collection. As a recent display of d’Offay’s holdings of Woodman’s photographs at Tate Modern has shown, this group of 18 works will be a significant supplement to Tate’s and NGS’s collection and future displays. Together with the works by Arbus and Mapplethorpe this collection of rare black and white vintage photographs will not only create a remarkable foundation for both museums’s continued strategy to build photographic holdings, but also enable a strong representation of an important figure in the history of the medium.


Georg Baselitz born 1938

Two paintings: Where is the Yellow Milk Jug, Mrs Bird? (Wo ist der gelbe Milchkrug, Frau Vogel?), 1989 and Folkdance Melancholia (Volkstanz Marode), 1989.

Georg Baselitz is one of the major artists to come out of East Germany. He is also one of the leading figures who helped re-establish German painting after World War II. He first achieved notoriety for his ‘Pandemonium’ paintings in the early Sixties. Here he described the chaos from which order might, or might not come, evoking insanity, irrationality, paranoia, illness, decay, sex, drink and violence in a great blast of fury. Later he became known for his roughly carved wooden sculptures and for the ‘fracture’ paintings of the late Sixties in which figures are divided in various ways including being chopped up as if by a forester’s axe. In this decade his subjects often have a specifically Germanic, Nordic subject matter, tattered partisans, soldiers, forest which conceal them, folklore, foresters, animals… Over time he established a group of archetypes which he has continued to return to, the tree, the bird, the knee, the hand, the friend, the rebel, the poet, the shepherd, the soldier, the woodman together with their domestic animals, carts and ploughs. In the 1970s he took the decision to paint his subjects upside down in order to liberate both the subject and the expressive qualities of the medium. This approach again caused controversy but kept both the audience and the artist on their toes and enabled Baselitz to carve a unique path in German post-war art. His painterly approach has evolved constantly over the years, often influenced by African sculpture of which he has a large collection.  Where is the Yellow Milk Jug, Mrs Bird? and Folkdance Melancholia belong to a series of works the artist made in 1989 at his home at Derneburg in the countryside of Lower Saxony. They are fine examples of the ecstatic painting of this period in which leitmotifs of falling birds, milk jugs and disembodied heads conjure up a world of primitive folkloric culture, their tumbling forms filling the canvas with a sense of rhythm and ornament. 

NGS holds an untitled sculpture from 1982-4 by Baselitz, one painting, Grosser Kopf, 1987 and a unique print from 1966. Tate holds numerous prints and three unique works by the artist: the paintings Rebel, 1965 and Adieu, 1982 and an untitled sculpture from 1982-3. The recent exhibition at the Royal Academy in London acknowledged Baselitz as a key figure in twentieth century art, and the combination of these collections would allow Baselitz to be shown in depth for the first time in a display based on UK holdings.

Ellen Gallagher born 1965

Two paintings: Paper Cup, 1996, ink and paper on canvas; and Untitled, 1998, oil and enamel on paper on canvas.

American artist Ellen Gallagher comes from Irish and African American stock. Amongst others, key things that have shaped the texture and subject matter of her work from the beginning are the writing of Gertrude Stein, the vaudeville tradition of black minstrels, science fiction and advertising targeted at African Americans. From these she has created a painterly language which has taken her into the vanguard of modernism. In an early series Gallagher’s work envelopes the viewer in a textured, apparently abstract surface which is actually a historic cosmology of repeated shapes – the rubbery lips, bow ties and rolling eyes of the vaudeville minstrels. The work expresses on the one hand how to be in the present, pushing forward the traditions and boundaries of painting, on the other, it reminds the viewer that however insignificant they may become, designations from the past continue to multiply and form part of the texture of the world today.

Tate has four recent works by the artist dating between 2003 and 2007: DeLuxe, 2004-5; Bird in the Hand, 2006 (a recent donation), Esirn Coaler 2007 (recently donated by the artist), and Murmur 2003-2004, a five-projection film work, made in collaboration with Edgar Cleijne, which has been lent by the American Fund for the Tate Gallery. The two paintings in ARTIST ROOMS will enable Tate to contextualise these existing holdings with the artist’s earlier practice and together the works will form a strong monographic display.  The NGS has no work by Gallagher; the availability of the existing Tate and ARTIST ROOMS will allow a substantial representation of the artist’s work to be shown in Scotland.

Richard Hamilton born 1922

One work: Four Self-Portraits 05.3.81, 1990, oil and Humbrol enamel on cibachrome on canvas.

Richard Hamilton was not only a key figure in the development of Pop Art in Britain but also one of the movement’s pioneers internationally. His work, which draws from and comments on popular culture, technology, the mass media and a wide range of current events, continues to be highly influential worldwide. The works in ARTIST ROOMS Four Self-Portraits 05.3.81 exemplify an ongoing preoccupation with portraiture, its conventions and possibilities as well as the use of darkroom printing and image-making techniques and media which he normally combines. Since 1968 Hamilton had engaged in a project to publish four volumes of Polaroid portraits of himself taken by artist friends and acquaintances. The idea of a composite self-portrait created over many years with the help of many other artists clearly intrigued him enormously.  In 1980 and 81 the artist took about 20 Polaroids of himself standing behind a sheet of clear glass. He then added thick acrylic colour to some of the photographs. The project was never completed but nearly ten years later Hamilton decided to make twelve of these into self-portraits by scanning and retouching them in his Quantel Paintbox. They were then scanned to make 10 by 8 transparencies. These were then further enlarged into Cibachrome prints which were then mounted on canvas. Hamilton is not only one of the first artists to use manipulated photography and to recognize its interactive potential, he is also one of the first artists to make his work with the aid of computers.

Tate holds ninety-four works by Richard Hamilton from the 1950s to the present, but none of his self-portraits – an ongoing series of work he has engaged with since 1968. Four Self Portraits – 05.3.81 1990 will therefore improve Tate’s representation of the artist, bringing new facets to Tate’s account of the artist. NGS has an important unique work, Desk, 1964, and a group of six prints dating from 1949 to 1972. The addition of Four Self-Portraits will demonstrate the continuing vitality of this artist’s work, and will expand the NGS’s strong collection of post-War figurative and Pop art.

Mario Merz 1925-2003

Two works: Lingotto, 1968, brush-wood, beeswax and steel and Che Fare?, 1968-73.

A major figure in the Arte Povera movement, the Italian artist Mario Merz’s work combined a fascination with the material and metaphorical qualities of natural objects with ideas regarding infinity and repetition. Much of his work was based around the Fibonacci sequence, a formula often used to express mathematical sequence in natural structures. In around 1966, the artist began using neon, making works in which the lights penetrated ordinary objects such as raincoats and umbrellas. Che Fare? – meaning ‘what is to be done?’ – is one of the artist’s earliest neon objects. Merz later explained that the idea for the work came from watching children repeating the words as they played and noted that the work ‘represents awareness of the centrality of a simple question’. Lingotto was made in the same year that Merz began exhibiting with other artists associated with Arte Povera and is a strong example of the artist’s use of humble matter so characteristic of the Arte Povera group. The ‘poor’ materials that create the imposing sculpture are set against the title of the work which means ‘ingot’, and its allusion to luxury, precious metals.

Tate holds four works by Merz: Cone, c.1967; A Real Sum is a Sum of People, 1972; Fibonacci Tables, 1974-6; and Igloo, 1977/85. NGS has no work by Merz; the addition of these two works from ARTIST ROOMS will allow this important artists’ work and concerns to be represented in Scotland for the first time.

Charles Ray born 1953

One work: the two-part photographic piece Plank Piece I-II, 1973.

Charles Ray has worked with film, photography, sculpture and installations to explore the notion of representation and to conflate reality with the surreal. Based in Los Angeles, his early practice can be viewed in context of the Body Art movement that emerged in the West Coast during the late 1960s and early 1970s. In the iconic two-part photographic work Plank Piece the artist documented the appropriation of his own body as a sculptural component. The static quality of the photographs belies the performative nature of the work in which the artist’s body is literally doubled-up into a graphic form, creating an image that is at once humorous and unsettling.

Tate holds one late film by Charles Ray: Fashions, 1996. NGS holds no work by the artist.

Robert Ryman born 1930

One work: Untitled (Study for Brussels) 1974, polymer paint on vinyl.

At the heart of Robert Ryman’s work is a concern with the materiality of painting. Since the 1950s he has reduced his work to a simple equation of canvas or other support, and white or off-white paint. Ryman’s concentration on the components of painting set him apart from his contemporaries. During the 1960s he integrated aspects of seriality associated with minimalism and conceptualism and he is frequently assessed in terms of these movements. Untitled (Study for Brussels) was made at the time of the artist’s solo exhibition at the Palais des Beaux-Arts Brussels in 1974. The ten panels exemplify Ryman’s non-objective style in which the choice of white, support and visible fixings offer the possibility for unlimited experimentation. The artist has said ‘Sometimes I use warm white because I wanted to have a warm absorbing light. At other times I’ve used colder white … it has to do with light – softness, hardness, reflection and movement – all these things.’

Tate’s collection lacks a unique early work by this important American artist and would therefore benefit from the multi-part work offered in ARTIST ROOMS which could be integrated to great advantage in displays examining seriality and Minimalism. It would complement the two later paintings dated 1982 already held in Tate’s collection and the artist’s portfolio of prints Seven Aquatints, 1972. NGS holds no work by Ryman. Its addition, along with works from the collection by other modern American artists not represented in Scotland, would allow entire aspects of post-War American art to be shown here for the first time.

Cy Twombly born 1928

One work: a multipart work Souvenir de L’Ile des Saintes, 1979, watercolour and gouache on paper.

For over fifty years Cy Twombly has explored references from nature, literature, classical history and mythology through poetic, gestural painting and abstracted sculptures. His lyrical use of letters and words as formal elements in abstract compositions blurs the relationship between drawing and painting and emphasises the action of mark-making. Souvenir de l’Ile des Saintes, 1979 is a suite of eight works on paper and represents the artist’s first experiments with watercolour. The vibrant daubs of colour found in the first sheet are transformed on subsequent pages into cloud-like washes, conveying memory as transient, sensual delight.

Tate holds Twombly’s monumental four-part painting Four Seasons, 1993-4, a series of ten unique works on paper, Natural History, Part I, Mushrooms, Nos. 1-X 1974 and three prints dated 1952 and 1967, with a group of five sculptures on long loan. Souvenir de l’Ile des Saintes will fill an important gap in Tate’s ability to represent the artist’s practice of the late 1970s.  The NGS holds no work by Twombly.

Anthony d’Offay

Born in Sheffield in 1940, Anthony d’Offay studied art at Edinburgh University, graduating in 1962. Whilst at the University, he fell in love with the collections of the National Gallery of Scotland. Years later he described walking round the galleries on The Mound as “the defining experience of my life”.  

In 1969, the year in which the gallery moved to Dering Street, he organised the ground breaking Abstract Art in England 1913-1915, which became an Arts Council touring show. Exhibitions followed dedicated to the largely forgotten period of English painting from 1910 to 1940, including Vorticism, Bloomsbury and the Camden Town Group. Scholarly shows included Jacob Epstein, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Spencer Gore, Gwen John, Stanley Spencer, Wyndham Lewis and Eric Gill.

Anthony d’Offay became interested in contemporary art and began to include shows by living artists in the gallery’s programme. These included Lucian Freud in 1972, Gilbert and George, 1972, Michael Andrews, 1974, William Coldstream, 1976, Eduardo Paolozzi 1977, Frank Auerbach, 1978, Richard Long, 1978 and Richard Hamilton in 1980.

In 1977 he married Anne Seymour, a curator with many years experience in the Modern Collection at the Tate Gallery, who had a special interest in avant-garde international art. In 1980 they opened a gallery for contemporary art 23 Dering Street, a uniquely large space for London at that time. They, together with Marie-Louise Laband, Director of the gallery, inaugurated a programme of international contemporary art, starting with a seminal exhibition by Joseph Beuys, Stripes from the House of the Shaman in August 1980. The intention was to show the greatest contemporary art being made, much of which was largely unknown to the British public at that time.

Over the years, the gallery in London presented a large number of highly acclaimed exhibitions by some of the greatest artists of our time. Many of these shows later travelled to public institutions in Britain and abroad. In addition to the shows made for the spaces in London, the Gallery was involved in organising important exhibitions for museums and public galleries around the world. The gallery closed in 2001.

Anthony d’Offay has brought many major exhibitions to Edinburgh including Joseph Beuys, Gilbert & George, Jasper Johns, Gerhard Richter, Jeff Koons, Jannis Kounellis, Ed Ruscha and Robert Mapplethorpe. Most recently at the Royal Scottish Academy he initiated two major Festival exhibitions: in 2006 Ron Mueck attracted more than 125,000 visitors and this year’s Andy Warhol Celebration was seen by nearly 100,000 people.

Anthony d’Offay and Contemporary Artists

Anthony d’Offay is well known for the important friendships he has had with key artists from early stages in their careers. His dedication to the artists he represented, along with a commitment to displaying the very best in contemporary art, led to seminal changes in ways of presenting and promoting art.

The d’Offay Gallery organised and funded a number of special events, performances and lectures. These included a lecture/performance by John Cage in 1989 and Michael Clark’s Heterospective in the same year, an historic week-long performance by Leigh Bowery in 1988, a number of sell-out performances by Bruce McLean, as well as lectures and presentations by artists including Joseph Beuys, Jeff Koons, Reinhard Mucha, Ed Ruscha, Johan Grimonprez, Janine Antoni and Bill Viola. As well as sponsoring the great exhibitions of Gilbert and George in Russia, 1990 and in China, 1993, the Anthony d’Offay Gallery also worked closely with the artists to raise over $1 million for Aids charities through sales of their work from the FOR AIDS exhibition in London in 1989.

Joseph Beuys was of major importance to the d’Offay Gallery and exhibited there until his death. Each of his shows was a memorable event and included: Dernier espace avec introspecteur..(now at Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart); Vitrines: Forms of the Sixties 1983 (now at the Kunstmuseum, Basel); PLIGHT 1985 (now at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris); and The End of the Twentieth Century 1990 (now at Tate Modern, London).

Other artists represented by d’Offay have included Carl Andre, Georg Baselitz, Christian Boltanski, Maurizio Cattelan, Vija Celmins, Francesco Clemente, Chris Cunningham, Merce Cunningham, Willem de Kooning, Rineke Dijkstra, Ellen Gallagher, Damien Hirst, Howard Hodgkin, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Yves Klein, Anselm Kiefer, Leon Kossoff, Jannis Kounellis, Roy Lichtenstein, Sarah Lucas, Martin Maloney, Brice Marden, Agnes Martin, Bruce McLean, Mario Merz, Tatsuo Miyajima, Malcolm Morley, Ron Mueck, Bruce Nauman, Barnett Newman, Gabriel Orozco, Richard Patterson, Sigmar Polke, Mark Rothko, David Salle, Julian Schnabel, David Smith estate, Kiki Smith, James Turrell, Cy Twombly, Francesco Vezzoli, Andy Warhol, Boyd Webb, Lawrence Weiner and Rachel Whiteread.