Press Release

Ken’s Show: Exploring the Unseen

Tate Liverpool
30 March - 17 June 2018

Supported by Tate Liverpool Patrons and Corporate Supporters

Phillip King, ‘Within’ 1978–9
Phillip King
Within 1978–9
© Phillip King

2018 marks Tate Liverpool’s 30th anniversary. Since opening in 1988 one man has been a constant presence at the Albert Dock gallery: Art Handling Manager Ken Simons. To celebrate this landmark year, Tate Liverpool will present a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition of 30 artworks from the Tate collection curated and conceived by Ken.

Ken’s Show: Exploring the Unseen, in the ground floor Wolfson Gallery, includes some of his favourite artworks – many of which he has previously installed in the galleries. Together the works explore the unseen or mysterious spaces in our world and point to Ken’s particular interest in sculptural and landscape art. Many of the chosen artists have worked directly with Ken, and a number of their works have now become central to the Tate collection.

Key works will include Equivalents for the Megaliths 1935 by Paul Nash, Phillip King’s large sculpture Within 1978-9, Snow Storm – Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth 1842 by J.M.W. Turner and Figure (Nanjizal) 1958 by Barbara Hepworth. The Tree A c.1913 by Piet Mondrian has been exhibited in all three decades of the gallery’s history in 1998, 2003 and 2014, while Mark Rothko’s Light Red Over Black 1957 was part of one of the first exhibitions at Tate Liverpool in 1988.

For 30 years at Tate Liverpool, and 43 years with Tate in total, Ken has been entrusted with all of these masterpieces. From the gallery’s launch, to its position as a trailblazer for culture-led regeneration and its willingness to take risks on new artists, Ken’s journey with these artworks has been one shared by the visitors but his role goes unseen by them. Now, as he prepares to retire, the Art Handler steps in to the spotlight.

Ken Simons said:

‘This is an amazing opportunity to display some of my favourite works from Tate collection after so many years getting to know the works personally. It is through this hands-on interaction and curating this show that I learnt and understood much more about artists’ exploration of space.’

Over the past three decades the gallery has established itself as the most visited modern and contemporary art gallery outside of London with 18 million visitors enjoying the international exhibitions and collection displays programme, all of which have been hung by Ken Simons. Now, thanks to Ken’s exhibition, they can experience again the iconic artworks that have helped make Tate Liverpool a lynchpin of Liverpool’s creative sector and a leading light for modern art galleries outside the capital.

For press information about Ken’s Show at Tate Liverpool, please contact Dominic Beaumont, Communications Manager, T: 0151 702 7444, E: Laura Deveney, Communications Assistant, T: 0151 702 7445,

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

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