Press Release

Work by Sol LeWitt to be exhibited at Tate Liverpool as part of ARTIST ROOMS

Work by Sol LeWitt to be exhibited at Tate Liverpool as part of ARTIST ROOMS: Press related to past exhibition.

The Art Fund Backs the First UK Tour of ARTIST ROOMS

Throughout 2009, 18 museums and galleries across the UK will be showing over 30 ARTIST ROOMS from the collection created by the dealer and collector, Anthony d’Offay, and acquired by the nation in February 2008. This is the first time a national collection has been shared and shown simultaneously across the UK, and has only been made possible through the exceptional generosity of independent charity The Art Fund and, in Scotland, of the Scottish Government. As part of the tour, Tate Liverpool will be presenting a major wall drawing by influential American artist Sol LeWitt from 12 May – 13 September 2009 (admission free).

Anthony d’Offay’s guiding principle for the creation of ARTIST ROOMS was the concept of individual rooms devoted to particular artists. ARTIST ROOMS on Tour with The Art Fund supported by The Scottish Government has been devised to take those displays beyond the collection’s owners, Tate and National Galleries of Scotland, and to reach and inspire new audiences across the country, particularly of young people.

ARTIST ROOMS is jointly owned and managed by National Galleries of Scotland and Tate on behalf of the nation. It has materially strengthened Tate’s ability to represent some of the most important art of the latter half of the twentieth century, and helps establish Scotland as a world-class destination for contemporary art. The Art Fund is giving £250,000 per year to ARTIST ROOMS on Tour with The Art Fund supported by the Scottish Government. The Scottish Government is giving £175,000 over three years.

Sol LeWitt (1928–2007) was a pioneer of Conceptual Art and Minimalism. In the late 1960s, LeWitt articulated a set of principles through two key texts that would form the basis of his practice: Paragraphs on Conceptual Art (1967) and Sentences on Conceptual Art (1969) in which he states: “Ideas can be works of art; they are in a chain of development that may eventually find some form. All ideas need not be made physical”. His early structures using geometric shapes, seriality and pre-determined forms broke away from the personal and emotive gestures dominant in Abstract Expressionism. In 1969, he began to conceive guidelines for two-dimensional works drawn directly on the wall. Taking the form of a set of instructions, which are then executed by assistants, the artist’s numerous wall drawings enable line and colour to become highly complex and visually fascinating images. Over 1,200 of his wall drawings have been executed so far, and his art continues to influence artists and fascinate audiences in various sites across the world.

The monumental and colourful Wall Drawing #1136 (2004) 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).

Editor notes

The collection of 725 works, representing one of the most important holdings of post-war and contemporary international art in private hands, was assembled by Anthony d’Offay, whose London galleries played a key role in the promotion and understanding of twentieth-century art in the UK over a period of more than 30 years.

In 2009 ARTIST ROOMS will be shown at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh; Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, Tate Modern and Tate St Ives; Wolverhampton Art Gallery; Tramway, Glasgow Museums; Inverness Museum and Art Gallery; Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens, Belfast; National Museum Cardiff; Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Orkney; Aberdeen Art Gallery; De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill; New Art Gallery, Walsall; Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art; Graves Gallery, Museums Sheffield; The Lightbox, Woking; and firstsite, Colchester.

The Art Fund:

The Art Fund is the UK’s leading independent art charity. It offers grants to help UK museums and galleries enrich their collections; campaigns on behalf of museums and their visitors; and promotes the enjoyment of art. It is funded from public donations and has 80,000 members. Since 1903 the charity has helped secure 860,000 works of art for museums and galleries across the UK. In addition to helping secure Anthony d’Offay’s collection, ARTIST ROOMS, for Tate and National Galleries of Scotland (NGS), last year it also helped save Rubens’ sketch for the ceiling at Banqueting House, Whitehall, for Tate and pledged £1m to help NGS acquire Titian’s Diana and Actaeon with The National Gallery. For more information contact the Press Office on 020 7225 4888 or visit The Art Fund is a Registered Charity No. 209174