Press Release

Great figures of twentieth century art – Bacon, O’Keeffe, Rauschenberg, Nash – among highlights of Tate’s 2016 exhibition programme

Georgia O'Keeffe, Abstraction White Rose 1927

Georgia O’Keeffe
Abstraction White Rose
1927
Oil on canvas
36 x 30 (91.4 x 76.2)
Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. Gift of The Burnett Foundation and Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation

© Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

© Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/DACS 2016, gift of The Burnett Foundation

Tate announced today highlights of its 2016 exhibition programme, which features major exhibitions devoted to some of the most prominent artists of the twentieth century: Francis Bacon at Tate Liverpool, Georgia O’Keeffe and Robert Rauschenberg at Tate Modern, and Paul Nash at Tate Britain. Paul Gauguin’s voyage to Tahiti will be the subject of work by two contemporary artists in an exhibition at Tate St Ives. 

Tate Modern will present an exhibition in the summer of Georgia O’ Keeffe, considered a founding figure of American modernism. It will be the first large-scale, monographic show of her work in the UK for more than twenty years. This ambitious and wide-ranging overview will reassess O’Keeffe’s place in the canon of modern art, charting her progression from early abstract experiments to late work. This will be followed in the autumn at Tate Modern by the first posthumous retrospective of Robert Rauschenberg, also his first comprehensive exhibition in the UK for almost thirty-five years. Co-organised with MoMA in New York, each chapter of Rauschenberg’s long career will be represented by important works, among which will be a stellar selection of his legendary Combines – hybrids between painting and sculpture – as well as his graphic screen prints whose depiction of the assassinated US president John F Kennedy signal the artist’s early commitment to political activism. 

The exhibition Francis Bacon: Invisible Rooms at Tate Liverpool will feature around thirty-five, large-scale paintings and numerous works on paper surveying the variety of Bacon’s painterly compositions and all featuring the distinctive architectural motif he commonly used in his work. These will be grouped in themes such as portraiture and existentialism, crucifixion, the stage and arena, and invisible rooms, which gives the show its title. It will coincide with an exhibition of the work of the Austrian painter Maria Lassnig (1919-2014). 

Tate Britain will present largest presentation of Paul Nash’s work for a generation. Nash was one of the most distinctive and most important British artists of the twentieth century. His downland and coastal landscapes of southern England, and its ancient past, provided a stage for his engagements with international modernism, specifically Surrealism. 

Also at Tate Britain, Painting with Light: Art and Photography from the Pre-Raphaelites to the Modern Age will explore the relationship between pioneering early photographers and Pre-Raphaelite, Aesthetic and Impressionist artists, including works by John Everett Millais, John William Waterhouse, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Julia Margaret Cameron and Henry Fox Talbot. Conceptual Art in Britain 1964-79 will trace the course of conceptual art from its genesis in the early 1960s and through the 1970s, showing the origins of a movement that was profoundly influential on later generations of artists. It will feature work from Michael Craig-Martin, Keith Arnatt, Victor Burgin and Art & Language among many others. For the Tate Britain Commission in 2016, supported by Sotheby’s, Pablo Bronstein will unveil a site-specific performance piece in response to the imposing architecture of the Duveen galleries. Bronstein uses architectural design and drawing to engage with the grandiose and imperial past of the built environment, often simulating and combining conflicting aesthetic styles. 

In summer 2016, Tate St Ives will present Sea & Studio, a pair of overlapping exhibitions which explore the ocean, the landscape and the ceramics studio. A major solo show by the highly regarded young British artist Jessica Warboys will include a new suite of Sea Paintings, created along the Cornish coast, and spanning more than twenty metres in width, alongside new and existing film works and sculptures. This will be accompanied by a survey of international range of radical approaches to the ceramics studio. Spanning from St Ives to 1930s Japan and 1960s California, it will include major pieces by artist-potters Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada, works from seminal Los Angeles sculptors Peter Voulkos and Ken Price, and new commissions from young London-based artists Jesse Wine and Aaron Angell. For the winter season, there will be a unique collaboration between Tate St Ives and the British artists Rosalind Nashashibi and Lucy Skaer whose film will chronicle Paul Gauguin’s voyage to Tahiti. This will be part of a wide-ranging exhibition of paintings, sculptures and works of paper by Gauguin himself, as well as earlier depictions of Tahiti by artists such as William Hodges, who accompanied Captain Cook to the Pacific. 

Tate Modern’s strong international contemporary programme will feature a presentation of the work of Mona Hatoum, one of the most important and original artists of her generation. Born in Beirut to a Palestinian family, she settled in England in 1975 after war broke out in Lebanon during a visit to London. This will be her first major survey in London. 

Tate Modern will also present the work of a central figure in twentieth-century Indian painting, Bhupen Khakhar, who combines popular and painterly aesthetics to address issues of class, gender and sexuality with sensitivity and humour. The EY Exhibition: Wifredo Lam will focus on the work on this Cuban-Chinese artist and will confirm his place as one of the central figures of global modernism. Performing for the Camera, sponsored by Hyundai Card, will examine the variety of ways in which the photographic image has both documented and developed out understanding of performance since the invention of photography in the nineteenth century. 

Works to Know by Heart is the autumn 2015 / spring 2016 season at Tate Liverpool, including Matisse in Focus, which will include his iconic work The Snail 1953 on display in a UK gallery outside London for the first time. Simultaneously, Tate Liverpool will presentAn Imagined Museum: works from the Pompidou, Tate and MMK collections. This will bring together over sixty major artworks made from 1945 onwards by artists such as Marcel Duchamp, On Kawara, Claes Oldenburg, Bridget Riley, Andy Warhol and Rachel Whiteread. 

The Tate St Ives project, to expand, improve and transform the gallery, will be completed in 2017. Tate St Ives will be temporarily closed until 21 May 2016 as structural work is undertaken in the existing gallery building for the construction of a new Learning Suite in the Courtyard and Café Terrace. However, Tate St Ives will celebrate the life and work of one of its most famous inhabitants, Barbara Hepworth, at its Hepworth Museum in 2016, with a series of events for their fortieth anniversary at the Hepworth Sculpture Garden. Tate St Ives has also worked with Plus Tate partner Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange to present an important exhibition of the work of artist Terry Frost from 10 October 2015 – 9 January 2016. 

For press information contact Ruth Findlay on +44(0)20 7887 4941 or Ruth.Findlay@tate.org.uk

For public information call +44 (0)20 7887 8888, visit tate.org.uk, follow @tate #Tate2016