LONDON.- The tour of Artist Rooms, a unique scheme to bring one of the largest and most imaginative acquisitions of post-war and contemporary art to audiences across Britain, from Bill Viola in Stromness to Joseph Beuys in Bexhill on Sea, is launched today.
Throughout 2009, 18 museums and galleries across the UK will be showing over 30 Artist Rooms from the collection created by the dealer and collector, Anthony dOffay, and acquired by the nation in February 2008. This is the first time a national collection has been shared and shown simultaneously across the UK, and has only been made possible through the exceptional generosity of independent charity The Art Fund and, in Scotland, of The Scottish Government.
The 2009 Artist Rooms On Tour with The Art Fund supported by The Scottish Government will include works by Diane Arbus, Joseph Beuys, Vija Celmins, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Ellen Gallagher, Gilbert & George, Johan Grimonprez, Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, Alex Katz, Anselm Kiefer, Jeff Koons, Jannis Kounellis, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Robert Mapplethorpe, Agnes Martin, Ron Mueck, Bruce Nauman, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, Robert Therrien, Bill Viola, Andy Warhol, Lawrence Weiner, and Francesca Woodman.
Anthony dOffays guiding principle for the creation of Artist Rooms was the concept of individual rooms devoted to particular artists. Artist Rooms on Tour with The Art Fund supported by The Scottish Government has been devised to take those displays beyond the collections owners, Tate and National Galleries of Scotland, and to reach and inspire new audiences across the country, particularly of young people.
The Art Fund is giving £250,000 per year to help Tate and National Galleries of Scotland to work with 13 regional partners in 2009 and more thereafter. In 2009 Artist Rooms will be shown at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh; Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, Tate Modern and Tate St Ives; Wolverhampton Art Gallery; Tramway, Glasgow; Inverness Museum and Art Gallery; Ulster Museum, National Museums Northern Ireland, Belfast; National Museum Cardiff; Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Orkney; Aberdeen Art Gallery; De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill; New Art Gallery, Walsall; mima Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art; Graves Gallery, Museums Sheffield; The Lightbox, Woking; and firstsite, Colchester.
Artist Rooms is jointly owned and managed by National Galleries of Scotland and Tate on behalf of the nation. It has materially strengthened Tates ability to represent some of the most important art of the latter half of the twentieth century, and helps establish Scotland as a world-class destination for contemporary art.