Tate Liverpool today announced that the gallery will temporarily close from Monday 16th October 2023 as the landmark building on Royal Albert Dock undergoes a major reimagining. The transformed gallery will reopen in 2025.
Ahead of the closure period, Tate Liverpool will be extending its popular exhibition JMW Turner with Lamin Fofana: Dark Waters until 24 September 2023. The exhibition focuses on the power of the sea through Turner’s paintings and sketches and through Fofana’s immersive sound environment. Tate Liverpool will also be one of the venues across the city hosting exhibitions for the 12th edition of Liverpool Biennial, open from 10 June to 17 September 2023.
Tate Liverpool’s free displays of the national collection of modern and contemporary art will also be extended until 15 October 2023. On level 2 of the gallery, The Port and Migrations and Global Encounters feature more than 80 works exploring themes of movement, migration and international exchange, including Hew Locke’s spectacular sculptural installation Armada 2019. On level 1, Democracies features artists from around the world who have responded in various ways to the theme of democracy.
Helen Legg, Director, Tate Liverpool, said: “Since Tate Liverpool opened 35 years ago, the experiences our audiences want to have, and the kind of work artists want to make, have both changed significantly. So now is the time for us to reimagine the gallery for the 21st century and strengthen the connection between art and people.
“Announcing this temporary closure gives everyone who loves Tate Liverpool a chance to return to the gallery before we begin the transformation process. It is also important to us that our audiences know they will still be able to engage with Tate Liverpool during the closure period through the high-quality work we deliver within the city’s communities.”
While the building is closed, Tate Liverpool will continue to host events and one-off projects in collaboration with other spaces in the city. Following the success of the Mobile Museum in collaboration with Art Explora and MuMo, which is currently touring works from Tate’s collection around Liverpool City Region until April, the gallery’s off-site programme will ensure it retains a close connection to the local community. Plans for the programme for 2024 will be announced in the coming months.
Established in 1988, Tate Liverpool helped create a blueprint for a wave of new galleries across the UK, redefining the role of the museum in the life of a city. Following a grant from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund, Tate Liverpool is now working with 6a architects to reimagine the gallery spaces to meet the scale and ambition of today’s most exciting artists. They will also develop social spaces that better connect with the city and its communities, creating an environment that is flexible and inviting and able to host people, art and ideas in equal measure.
£10m has been awarded to Tate Liverpool from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund as part of a successful combined £20m bid with National Museums Liverpool for their waterfront projects.
Tate Liverpool Envisaged as a flagship for making the national collections accessible to more people, Tate Liverpool is as relevant now as at its conception 34 years ago; exchanging ideas, deep roots in the city and facing both home-grown and global communities. Since 2019, the gallery has shown work by ground-breaking US contemporary artists Theaster Gates and Arthur Jafa and staged the first major exhibition in the UK of artist and activist Keith Haring as well as of South Korean artists Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho. More recently, Tate Liverpool responded to COVID-19 with an exhibition of portraits, created Aliza Nisenbaum, depicting NHS staff from Merseyside, and hosted the Tuner Prize 2022.
Alongside its inspiring exhibition programme, the gallery has an established reputation for delivering high quality work within the city’s communities. Projects such as Tackling the Blues, Home from Home and ground-breaking work with prison education service Novus, see Tate Liverpool engaged in a range of initiatives to support skills and promote creativity, extending its influence beyond the walls of the gallery.
6a architects was founded by Tom Emerson and Stephanie Macdonald in 2001. The practice has gained an international reputation for the innovative re-use of existing buildings for cultural and educational projects, especially in sensitive historical environments. It has completed several public galleries which have garnered support from critics, artists and visitors alike including Raven Row (2009), South London Gallery (2010-18) and MK Gallery in Milton Keynes (2019). Collaborations with artists, engineers and landscape designers alongside teaching and research are fundamental to 6a’s design process.
The studio has won multiple awards, notably the Schelling Medal 2012, RIBA Awards and a nomination for the Stirling Prize 2017 for its studio complex for photographer Juergen Teller (2016) for which it won the RIBA London Building of the Year Award 2017. In 2018, Stephanie Macdonald was a finalist for the International Women in Architecture Award and Tom Emerson was awarded the Conrad Ferdinand Meyer Prize in Zurich. The New Year Honours 2021 saw both recognised with an OBE for Services to Architecture and Education. 6a is currently working on significant projects around the world. This year sees the opening of CARA; a new contemporary art foundation in New York, Holborn House; a new community building with an integral public artwork, by artist Caragh Thuring in central London, A2 B2; two office buildings for the creative industries in the Design District Greenwich and two mixed-use towers on the waterfront in Hamburg. In 2020, Victoria State granted permission for 6a’s first building in Australia, a 13-storey mixed-use, landscaped building in Collingwood, Melbourne which will begin construction in 2022. 6a.co.uk