Press Release

New Tate Modern opens on 17 June 2016

Press release for the new Tate Modern building opening 17 June 2016

UK school children invited to exclusive preview before public opening

Tate announced today that the new Tate Modern will open to the public on Friday 17 June 2016. Created by world-leading architects Herzog & de Meuron, it will be the most important new cultural building to open in the UK for almost twenty years.

School children from around the UK will be invited to a special preview on Thursday 16 June, a day before the new galleries open to the general public. Young people will also be invited to celebrate the opening weekend, explore the new building and respond to the modern and contemporary art on display.

The new Tate Modern will be unveiled with a complete re-hang, bringing together much-loved works from the collection with new acquisitions made for the nation since Tate Modern first opened in 2000. With 60% more display space, the world’s most popular gallery of modern art will now feature over 250 artists from around 50 countries. It will reveal how art has evolved from the studios and salons where modernism was born to the live, interactive and socially-engaged projects happening around the world today.

Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate said ‘The new Tate Modern is an instrument that will allow us to offer a rich variety of experiences to visitors and opportunities to artists for different kinds of presentation of their work.’

Chris Dercon, Director, Tate Modern said ‘Art is one of the most dynamic and engaged forms of human behavior, and when people step into a museum today, they don’t want to step out of their life, they want to get closer to it. The new Tate Modern will be so much more than a container for art, it will be a platform for human encounters.’

The Turbine Hall will become the heart of the new Tate Modern, with the existing 6-storey Boiler House on one side and the new 10-storey Switch House rising above the Tanks on the other. The new Switch House is now structurally complete, with work focusing on the interior fit-out and the unique brick facade. It will offer a spectacular variety of spaces for visitors and for art, from the raw industrial Tanks to a panoramic roof terrace overlooking the London skyline. There will also be new urban spaces to the south and west of the building, completing the site’s transformation from a closed, industrial ruin to an open, public space.

Tate Modern will present an even more diverse and international perspective on modern art. Encompassing all the new galleries in the Switch House as well as completely re-hung collection galleries in the existing Boiler House, the displays will explore connections between artists in cities across the globe, from São Paulo to Tokyo as well as the traditional centres of Berlin, Paris, London and New York. Performance, film, photography and installations will be fully integrated into the displays. There will also be spaces for pioneering digital engagement, reflection and debate in every wing of the museum and in a dedicated space in the centre of the new building.

Iconic works by major 20th century figures, such as Pablo Picasso, Joseph Beuys and Mark Rothko, will join artists introduced to the public by Tate Modern, including Saloua Raouda Choucair (b.1916, Lebanon), Meschac Gaba (b.1961, Benin) and Cildo Meireles (b.1948, Brazil). Many new acquisitions will also be shown here for the first time in 2016, from an installation of human hair and car bumpers by Sheela Gowda (b.1957, India), to a room full of giant burlap sacks by Magdalena Abakanowicz (b.1930, Poland), to an immersive multi-screen film by Cannes prize-winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul (b.1970, Thailand).

The project has been made possible by one of the largest cultural fundraising campaigns ever launched and through the enormous generosity of the Government, the Greater London Authority and many private foundations and individuals. In 2006 it was projected that the new building would cost £215m at 2012 prices. The scope of the project has grown and now includes renovation works on the existing building and the total project cost in line with 2016 prices is £260m.

Editor notes

Tate Modern 

Tate Modern opened to the public in May 2000. Located in the former Bankside Power Station, it is the world’s most popular museum of modern and contemporary art, attracting around 5 million visitors each year. It is one of four Tate galleries around the country, and part of a wider network of partner institutions – the Plus Tate network – which champions the visual arts in the UK. Tate manages a growing national collection of over 70,000 works of art, acquired and cared for on behalf of the public and shown in venues throughout the UK and across the world. 

Project Team 

Tate and architects Herzog & de Meuron have worked with designer Jasper Morrison and landscape architect Günther Vogt, reuniting the team who developed the original Tate Modern. 

Project Donors 

The Tate Modern Project is being made possible by a number of significant donations from public funders, notably a £50m investment from the Government, £7m from the Greater London Authority and £1m from Southwark Council. We are also most grateful for the generosity from private foundations, starting with a major donation from the Blavatnik Family Foundation and including gifts from Artist Rooms Foundation, The Deborah Loeb Brice Foundation, The John Browne Charitable Trust, The Ghandehari Foundation, LUMA Foundation, Eyal Ofer Family Foundation, The Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation, The Sackler Trust, and The Wolfson Foundation. 

Major support for the project has also been received from individual donors, including Joe and Abbie Baratta, John and Michael Chandris and Christina Chandris, James Chanos, Ago Demirdjian and Tiqui Atencio Demirdjian, George Economou, Maryam and Edward Eisler, Jeanne Donovan Fisher, Mala Gaonkar and Oliver Haarmann, Lydia and Manfred Gorvy, Noam Gottesman, Maja Hoffmann and Stanley Buchthal, Peter and Maria Kellner, Catherine Lagrange, Pierre Lagrange, Allison and Howard W. Lutnick, Elisabeth Murdoch, Simon and Midge Palley, Catherine and Franck Petitgas, Barrie and Emmanuel Roman, John Studzinski, the Uggla Family, Viktor Vekselberg and others who wish to remain anonymous.

Tate Members have also supported the project.