Press Release

Virtual Reality brings Modigliani’s final studio to life

Modigliani VR: The Ochre Atelier

Modigliani VR: The Ochre Atelier ​​​​​​, still. Courtesy of Preloaded.

Tate Modern opens Modigliani VR: The Ochre Atelier

For the opening of Tate Modern’s major Modigliani exhibition, Tate and HTC VIVEare unveiling a new integrated virtual reality experience reimagining Modigliani’s final studio in Paris. The Ochre Atelier invites visitors to step into the studio where Modigliani lived and worked in the final months of his life, vividly enhancing our understanding of one of the early twentieth century’s greatest artists.

As part of the most comprehensive exhibition of Modigliani’s work ever held in the UK, The Ochre Atelier brings visitors closer to the artist’s world using Vive’s VR technology. A first for Tate, the VR room with nine Vive headsets is positioned right in the heart of the exhibition. It is a seated experience which takes visitors on a journey through Modigliani’s studio. Following five months of mapping and rigorous historical research, the space, its interiors and objects are meticulously brought to life at Tate Modern. Tate selected BAFTA-winning games and VR studio Preloaded to create the experience, using historical and technical research, working from first-hand accounts by those closest to the artist.

While listening to narrated first-hand accounts from Modigliani’s friends and commentary from Tate’s experts, visitors can explore the objects in the studio, learning more about how Modigliani worked and details of his materials and techniques. Each of the over 60 objects featured in The Ochre Atelier has been carefully researched and authentically modelled by 3D artists and modellers at Preloaded, from a packet of cigarettes to the way the windows would have opened to let in light. Two late works, Jeanne Hébuterne 1919 and Self-Portrait 1919, have also been painstakingly reconstructed using technical research by conservators at Tate in collaboration with colleagues at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, University of Sao Paulo. An ‘At-Home’ room-scale version of The Ochre Atelier will also be available to Vive users via the VIVEPORT, Vive’s VR app store in December.

Frances Morris, Director, Tate Modern said:

We are thrilled to be working with HTC VIVE to bring this new and exciting digital experience to our visitors. We are always looking to push creative boundaries and we think this will be a fantastic opportunity to give the public a different and in-depth understanding of this much-loved artist through new technology.

Joel Breton, VP of Vive Studios said:

We’re proud to be partnering with Tate Modern on the next project of our Vive Arts program, which empowers artists to create and consumers to experience art and culture in new ways with HTC Vive. Modigliani VR: The Ochre Atelier challenges the way we interpret the work and influences of an artist through virtual reality, and marks an exciting step forward for technology’s role in enriching the narrative of gallery exhibitions.

Andrea Sullivan, international executive, global Environmental, Social and Governance at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said:

Tate Modern is a long-term partner of the bank, and Modigliani marks our sixth sponsorship. We are particularly excited by the use of VR in this exhibition – the combination of art and technology has the potential to be truly transformative and this innovation is bound to appeal to visitors.

Phil Stuart, Creative Director, Preloaded, said:

Preloaded is delighted to have been selected to develop this unique VR experience for Tate and HTC. We designed The Ochre Atelier to utilise the gallery’s context, visitor expectation and technology to deliver a profound experience, which deepens the visitors understanding of the artist and his art.

Modigliani is at Tate Modern from 23 November 2017 to 2 April 2018. It is the most comprehensive exhibition ever held in the UK of work by Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920), bringing together a dazzling range of his iconic portraits, nudes and sculptures. With 100 works covering all aspects of the artist’s tragically short but ground-breaking career, this exhibition re-evaluates this familiar figure and confirms Modigliani as one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century.

Modigliani is sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, virtual reality in partnership with HTC VIVE, supported by Maryam and Edward Eisler, with additional support from the Modigliani Exhibition Supporters Circle, Tate Patrons and Tate Members.

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s programme of arts support reflects our belief that the arts matter. They help economies to thrive and individuals to connect with each other across cultures, and they educate and enrich societies. Our commitment to the arts is a key element of our responsible growth. Around the world, we support not-for-profit arts institutions that deliver both the visual and performing arts which provide inspirational educational programmes, open access for all communities, create jobs, and are pathways to greater cultural understanding. Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com/about, and connect with us on Twitter @BofAML.

About HTC VIVE

VIVE is a first-of-its-kind virtual reality platform, built and optimized for room-scale VR and true-to-life interactions. Delivering on the promise of VR with game-changing technology and best-in-class content, VIVE has created the strongest ecosystem for VR hardware and software, bringing VR to consumers, developers and enterprises alike. The VIVE ecosystem is built around the best VR hardware in market, supported by VIVE X, a $100 million accelerator for VR and related technology start-ups; Viveport, a global platform, app store and subscription service for VR that operates in more than 30 countries; and VIVE Studios, its VR content development and publishing initiative. For more information on Vive, please visit www.vive.com.

About Preloaded

Preloaded is a BAFTA-winning games studio, creating content and platforms that transform audiences and organisations through play. Collaborating with ambitious partners, such as LEGO, Google, Penguin, BBC, V&A and Science Museum to balance business goals, audience need and content integrity, the studio's methodology places the user at the center of the design process. Over the past 17 years, Preloaded has developed experiences based on subjects as diverse as neuroscience, drug addiction, mental health, ancient history, literacy, physical science, genetics, death and philosophy.

IMAGES AND PRESS REQUESTS

For press information contact Cecily.Carbone@tate.org.uk or Kirsten.Cowie@tate.org.ukor call +44(0)20 7887 4906/8731

High resolution press images can be downloaded from Tate's Dropbox site. This link will expire when the exhibition has closed