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.