Designers to create Tate Modern’s new layout concept

Tate Modern is working with a host of designers to create a radical new look for its permanent galleries, as the organisation completes the first rehang of its collection.

The galleries are being revamped into a more high-tech environment to enhance Tate Modern’s new way of displaying its collection. It is the first time that the collections have been rehung since Tate Modern opened six years ago.

Art works across four wings of the galleries, located on levels three and five at the Tate’s South Bank building, are being realigned according to a different model. The new layout will consist of a central display in each wing that focuses on a key period of art in the 20th century, rather than being arranged by subject matter.

The four periods are: Cubism, Futurism and Vorticism; Surrealism and Surrealist tendencies; Abstract Expressionism and European Informal Art; and Minimalism.

As part of the rehang, the environment is to be redesigned with fresh graphics, increased interactive elements, audio-visual installations, different learning zones and a raft of bespoke furniture.

The intention is to create a space which will better reflect Tate Modern’s expansive collection by presenting a greater sense of chronology about artistic movements and exploring how the major epochs relate to each individual artistic practice.

Graphic artist Sara Fanelli has been approached by the Tate to create a series of interpretative designs as part of the revamp. This will include a timeline, which will be printed throughout the concourse areas in the galleries, to help visitors identify key artists and periods in the collection.

Environmental designer Ab Rogers has also been commissioned to create a series of ‘furniture’ for the concourse areas. The concepts are still being put together, but the items are likely to include various benches, chairs and tables.

The aim is to create specific zones to support visitor-related activities, to bring more educational and learning aspects into the gallery space.

Interactive design consultancy Spiral Productions has been working to develop four In Focus ‘interactive tables’, to support this. These high-tech items will display information on the different art movements.

Separately, Rose Design has redesigned Tate Modern’s flagship handbook. The fresh designs will reflect the galleries’ new look and will be a radical departure from the publication’s previous visual identity.

The galleries are set to relaunch on 23 May. The Tate is hosting a four-day festival, The Long Weekend, to coincide with the unveiling. Each day will be themed around one of the specific art movements and activities will include late night music, film, dance and art activities. The festival takes place over May bank holiday.

Tate modern:

• First rehanging since Tate Modern opened in 2000

• Graphics, potentially by Sara Fanelli

• Furniture by Ab Rogers

• Interactive installations by Spiral Productions

• Handbook redesign by Rose Design

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