Recent major acquisitions of British contemporary art will go on display in the BP Exhibition Classified, opening at Tate Britain
on 22 June 2009. This free exhibition will include large-scale works from Tates collection. Using a wide range of media, Classified will feature new acquisitions which will be on display at Tate for the first time, such as Jake & Dinos Chapmans Chapman Family Collection 2002 and two works from Damien Hirsts recent gift to Tate: The Acquired Inability to Escape 1991, one of the artists early vitrine works, and Life Without You 1991.
Classified will offer visitors to Tate Britain the opportunity to see exceptional works by leading contemporary artists and to explore the recent development of Tates outstanding collection. Artists represented in the exhibition will be: Phillip Allen, Gillian Carnegie, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Martin Creed, Tacita Dean, Jeremy Deller, Mark Dion, Ceal Floyer, Damien Hirst, Simon Patterson, Peter Peri, Fiona Rae, Simon Starling, and Rebecca Warren.
Classified will focus on the way artists use ordering systems in their work, exploring how our need to classify affects our perception of the world. The exhibition will address this desire to collect, order and categorise, and will show how artists often use these networks and relationships in ways that reveal the inherent instability of meaning. The works in this exhibition employ a variety of methods and approaches, but are united by the artists engagement with the ways we all codify the objects and images that surround us as part of our daily life.
Familiar works such as Damien Hirsts room installation Pharmacy 1992, Simon Pattersons Great Bear 1992, a reconfigured version of the iconic map of the London Underground, and Mark Dions Tate Thames Dig 1999, which groups together objects found on the banks of the River Thames, will be shown alongside works that have been acquired over the last five years. This is the first time that many of these will be on display at Tate, including installations such as Simon Starlings Work made-ready, Les Baux-de-Provence (Mountain Bike) 2001, Jake and Dinos Chapmans Chapman Family Collection 2002, Tacita Deans film portrait Michael Hamburger 2007 and Rebecca Warrens sculpture In the Bois 2005. All these works allow the visitor to reflect not only on the artists construction of meaning by their use of different strategies of classification but also on the museums role in collecting, cataloguing and displaying objects.
Classified is curated by Clarrie Wallis, Curator Contemporary British Art at Tate Britain, and Andrew Wilson, Curator Modern & Contemporary British Art at Tate.