November 20, 2015 - Tate Liverpool - An Imagined Museum: Works from the Centre Pompidou, Tate and MMK collections / Matisse in Focus
November 20, 2015

Tate Liverpool

Sturtevant, Warhol Flowers, 1990. Silkscreen and acrylic on canvas, 2950 x 2950 mm. Courtesy MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main. © Sturtevant Estate Paris. Photo: Axel Schneider.
An Imagined Museum: Works from the Centre Pompidou, Tate and MMK collections
Matisse in Focus
November 20, 2015–February 14, 2016

Tate Liverpool
Albert Dock
Liverpool L3 4BB
United Kingdom

www.tate.org.uk
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An Imagined Museum: Works from the Centre Pompidou, Tate and MMK collections
Matisse in Focus
November 20, 2015–February 14, 2016

Tate Liverpool
Albert Dock
Liverpool L3 4BB
United Kingdom

www.tate.org.uk
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Tate Liverpool’s season Works to Know by Heart turns the gallery into a device to provoke and safeguard memories stirred in us by great works of art. It asks us to consider our relationship with internationally and historically significant artworks, with each display posing different questions and proposing alternative solutions to how we might collect, preserve and remember art now and in the future. The key role in these investigations is played by the public, who is invited to take on artworks by committing them to memory.

Alluding to the banishment of art and culture throughout history as explored in dystopian sci-fi literature (such as Ray Bradbury’s 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451), and comprising works from three of the most prestigious European collections, An Imagined Museum: works from the Centre Pompidou, Tate and MMK collections invites visitors into a future scenario. Within this fiction, all of the artworks on display are about to disappear. With the threatened removal of these works, the feelings they generate and the ideas they contain would also be at risk of extinction, representing a huge loss for future generations. To preserve these effects, artworks are required to be memorised, reassigning to audiences the conserving mission of the museum. The exhibition invites visitors to become familiar with works by artists including Marcel Duchamp, Claes Oldenburg, Bridget Riley, Dorothea Tanning, Andy Warhol and Rachel Whiteread in order to store the artworks in their memory.

The exhibition will conclude with 2053: A Living Museum, a final weekend (taking place on the weekend of February 20–21, 2016) when audiences will recollect works in the exhibition space emptied of artworks, evoking the scene in François Truffaut’s film adaptation of Fahrenheit 451 in which the rebel community introduce each other as the books they have memorised, hauntingly transforming a group of people into a living library. In the same way that André Malraux imagined a "museum without walls," An Imagined Museum: works from the Centre Pompidou, Tate and MMK collections transforms people into vessels, testifying to the value and power of art we need to preserve. Exhibition visitors, curators, artists, writers, musicians and actors will re-enact individual works in the form of performances, readings and songs inspired by their memory, so that their meaning and significance will live on. The final weekend also includes a new commission by performance artists Alexandra Pirici and Manuel Pelmuş, who will develop physical interpretations of some of the works in the show. To be part of 2053: A Living Museum, sign up in the gallery or register your interest by emailing alivingmuseum [​at​] tate.org.uk.

The exhibition will be presented consecutively at Tate Liverpool, MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main, and Centre Pompidou-Metz.

In the Wolfson Gallery, located on the museum's ground floor, Works to Know by Heart: Matisse in Focus presents a concentrated display of 15 works that together span five decades of Henri Matisse’s (1869–1954) innovative practice. This display explores the artist’s transformative use of colour and his abiding interest in the human figure, highlighting his pioneering cross-pollination between drawing, painting and sculpture. Presenting key moments from his artistic practice, the works cover portraiture, figure studies, landscape and still life: a mini-retrospective that is also a time capsule of a life and its work. On display at Tate Liverpool for the first and only time in the gallery’s history is The Snail, one of Henri Matisse’s largest and most significant paper cut-outs. Matisse said of the cut-out technique that it "allows me to draw in the colour. It is a simplification for me. Instead of drawing the outline and putting the colour inside it—the one modifying the other—I draw straight into the colour." Made in 1953, more than a decade after Matisse underwent lifesaving surgery, The Snail—and the radical new means of making the artist had developed to create it—serves as a vivid illustration of the power of art. This special presentation of Matisse works drawn from the Tate collection attests to his long career and ground-breaking legacy.

An Imagined Museum: works from the Centre Pompidou, Tate and MMK collections is curated by Francesco Manacorda, Artistic Director, Darren Pih, Exhibitions and Displays Curator, and Lauren Barnes, Assistant Curator, Tate Liverpool; Peter Gorschlüter, Deputy Director, MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main; Hélène Guenin, Head of Programming Department, and Alexandra Müller, Research and Exhibitions Officer, Centre Pompidou-Metz. 

Matisse in Focus is curated by Stephanie Straine, Curator, Tate Liverpool.

An Imagined Museum: works from the Centre Pompidou, Tate and MMK collections will be presented consecutively at Tate Liverpool (November 20, 2015–February 14, 2016), MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main (March 24, 2016–September 11, 2016), and at Centre Pompidou-Metz (October 21, 2016–March 27, 2017).

Supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, Institut Français du Royaume Uni, the German Federal Foreign Office and Goethe-Institut London.

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Matisse in Focus
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