Press Release

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

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


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

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

The 2016 programme in chronological order is as follows:




Tate Liverpool

Works to Know by Heart

An Imagined Museum: works from the Pompidou, Tate and MMK collections

20 November 2015 – 14 February 2016

The touring exhibition assembles a core group of artworks from the Centre Pompidou, MMK and Tate collections to be presented consecutively at Tate Liverpool, MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main and Centre Pompidou-Metz.

Supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union and the Goethe-Institut London


Tate Liverpool

Works to Know by Heart

Matisse in Focus

20 November 2015 – 3 May 2016


Tate Modern

Performing for the Camera

18 February – 12 June 2016

This exhibition is sponsored by Hyundai Card.


Tate Britain

Conceptual Art in Britain 1964-79

12 April 2016 – 29 August 2016


Tate St Ives

Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden

April 2016 will be the fortieth anniversary of the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. To celebrate, Tate St Ives will organise a series of events, talks and music.The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden will be open daily throughout the temporary closure of Tate St Ives.


Tate Britain

The Tate Britain Commission 2016: Pablo Bronstein

26 April – October 2016

The Tate Britain Commission, supported by Sotheby’s, invites artists to make work in response to Tate’s collection of British and international art in the Duveen Galleries at the heart of Tate Britain.


Tate Modern

Mona Hatoum

4 May – 21 August 2016

This exhibition has been conceived and realised through collaboration with the artist and the Centre Pompidou, Musee national d’art modern, Paris, Tate Modern and Kiasma, Helsinki.

Supported by AGC Equity Partners




Tate Britain

Art and Photography from the Pre-Raphaelites to the Modern Age

11 May – 25 September 2016


Tate Liverpool

Francis Bacon: Invisible Rooms

18 May – 18 September 2016


Tate Liverpool

Maria Lassnig

18 May – 18 September 2016


Tate St Ives

Jessica Warboys

21 May – 2 October 2016


Tate St Ives

Inside the Studio: Artists & Ceramics

21 May – 2 October 2016


Tate Modern

Bhupen Khakhar: You Can’t Please All

1 June – 6 November 2016

This exhibition is sponsored by Deutsche Bank AG and the Bhupen Khakhar Exhibition Circle


Tate Modern

Georgia O’Keeffe

6 July – 30 October 2016

The exhibition is organised by Tate Modern in collaboration with Bank Austria Kunstforum, Vienna and Museum Folkwang, Essen


Tate Liverpool

Liverpool Biennial

9 July – 16 October 2016




Tate Modern

The EY Exhibition: Wifredo Lam

14 September 2016 – 8 January 2017

This exhibition is part of The EY Tate Arts Partnership


Tate Britain

Turner Prize 2016

27 September 2016 – 8 January 2017


Tate Britain

Paul Nash

26 October 2016 – 5 March 2017


Tate Modern

The Hyundai Commission

11 October 2016 – 2 April 2017


Tate St Ives

Gauguin, Nashashibi, Skaer

15 October 2016 – 8 January 2017


Tate Modern

Robert Rauschenberg

1 December 2016 – 2 April 2017

Co-organised with The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and in close dialogue with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation


Notes to Editors


Bhupen Khakhar sponsored by Deutsche Bank AG 
Deutsche Bank KunstHalle and Tate Modern have established a cooperation spanning several years which will involve the presentation of three Tate Modern exhibitions at the Berlin gallery focusing on international art. The programme launched in September 2014, when Deutsche Bank KunstHalle presented Meschac Gaba: Museum of Contemporary African ArtBhupen Khakhar is sponsored by Deutsche Bank AG and will subsequently be on view at the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle. The third exhibition agreed by the two institutions will be announced in due course.


Performing for the Camera sponsored by Hyundai Card

Performing for the Camera is part of the three-year partnership between Hyundai Card and Tate that will see Hyundai Card sponsor an annual series of photography exhibitions. The partnership helps Tate to realise its ambitious photography programme across Tate Modern and Tate Britain, with Hyundai Card also funding a separate annual acquisition fund for photography alongside their exhibition sponsorship.


The Hyundai Commission sponsored by Hyundai Motor Company

Tate and Hyundai Motor launched a major new long-term partnership in 2014. Confirmed until 2025, this 11-year partnership is the longest initial commitment from a corporate sponsor in Tate’s history. Hyundai’s support will allow Tate Modern to realise The Hyundai Commission, a new series of site-specific installations by contemporary artists in the iconic Turbine Hall, beginning in autumn 2015. 


The Tate Britain Commission sponsored by Sotheby’s 
The Tate Britain Commission, supported by Sotheby’s, is a series of contemporary commissions for Tate Britain's Duveen Galleries which addresses the heritage of the space as a sculpture gallery. Artists are invited to develop a new work in response to Tate’s collection of British and international art, highlighting the continuum of visual and intellectual ideas between historic and contemporary art, or to respond to the space of Tate's neo-classical Duveen Galleries. Sotheby's have supported the Commission since 2008.


The EY Exhibition: Wifredo Lam is part of the EY Tate Arts Partnership

The EY Exhibition: Wifredo Lam is part of arts partnership between EY and Tate. This follows on from four exciting ‘EY Exhibitions’, including The EY Exhibition: The World Goes Pop which opens at Tate Modern in September 2015. The ongoing arts partnership helps Tate to realise its ambitious arts programme across Tate Modern and Tate Britain, with EY’s support being extended through corporate memberships at Tate Liverpool, Tate St Ives as well as select Plus Tate galleries.