Press Release

A new display of works from The UBS Art Collection opens at Tate Modern

Tate Modern  Level 3
23 May – 26 November 2006

As part of the rehang at Tate Modern, Tate curators have selected significant works from The UBS Art Collection to form the first in a series of annual temporary displays. The first display is UBS Openings: Photography, and features over forty photographic works by influential American and European artists such as Andreas Gursky, Candida Hofer, and Thomas Ruff.

Most of the works included were produced during the 1990s, when photography became widely accepted as an art form of equal status to painting or sculpture. Many are on public view in the UK for the first time. They will be displayed for six months in three galleries located on Level 3 at Tate Modern.

Works by Andreas Gursky include his iconic photograph, 99 Cent, 2000. This large scale work appears like a photographic field of colour, showing row after row of brightly packaged goods in a US store. There are also two works in the display by the German photographer Candida Höfer, who has produced a number of widely acclaimed photographs showing the interiors of public spaces, such as museums, libraries or universities.

The photographs brought together in the central gallery show how the photographers have taken an overview or ‘bird’s eye’ view of the environments they encounter. Höfer’s interiors are often without people, though rows of chairs or other elements refer to the bodies absent at the time the picture is taken.

Massimo Vitali’s tableaux of human life are created in his native Italy. Two panoramic photographs here feature social gatherings and groups of people from a specially constructed vantage point. The Riccione Diptych, 1998 shows the Adriatic seaside resort of Riccione for example, where rows of colourful, striped deck-chairs are spread across the beach, their occupants turned to face the sun. Like Vitali, Walter Niedermayr photographs people at leisure, although he has focused on alpine landscapes. Two photographs show a mountain top densely populated with tourists. Olivo Barbieri’s photographs give the impression of reducing both people and buildings to tiny ant-like proportions and the images are often blurred. The artist achieves this by taking aerial photographs from a helicopter and using a tilt-shift lens.

The photographs in the additional two galleries draw attention to the details present in the most mundane situations; to places, buildings, objects or people we may pass by during the course of daily existence. The artists included are Beat Steuli, Jean-Marc Bustamante, Fischli and Weiss, Erwin Wurm, and a large series of sixty portrait photographs by Thomas Ruff. In 2007 there will be a display focusing on drawings and in 2008 there will be a display of paintings.

Vicente Todoli, Director of Tate Modern said:

We are delighted to have the opportunity to select small groups of internationally significant works from The UBS Art Collection for the display UBS Openings: Photography at Tate Modern. The works are rarely on public view and we have deliberately chosen works which extend and amplify the scope of our own displays.

The collaboration with UBS allows Tate to work with The UBS Art Collection in a number of really exciting new ways, which we hope will strengthen the experience of visiting the gallery for our visitors as well as attracting new audiences.

Jeremy Palmer, Member of the Group Managing Board, UBS, said:

In Tate, UBS has found a partner who shares both our views of the importance of art and our commitment to making art accessible to as wide an audience as possible. We are delighted to support the rehang of its collection and the ‘UBS Openings’ programme.

“We are also proud that Tate is drawing on works from The UBS Art Collection to enrich the art experience of gallery visitors. The depth and breadth of The UBS Art Collection, which has been built up over 30 years, shows how strongly we feel about art. We are delighted to be able to share the Collection with the public and the communities in which we work.