Tate announces 2025 Exhibition Highlights

Tuesday, June 4, 2024
Tate announces 2025 Exhibition Highlights

Tate announces its programme of exhibitions for 2025 across Tate Modern, Tate Britain and Tate St Ives. It includes the UK’s first major museum shows for Emily Kam Kngwarray, Ithell Colquhoun, Leigh Bowery, Liliane Lijn and Ed Atkins, a landmark survey of Nigerian Modernism, and exhibitions and commissions covering every medium from paintings, sculptures and photographs to digital installations and live performances.

Maria Balshaw, Director of Tate, said “These exhibitions show Tate at our most ambitious and distinctive. They are truly international in scope while celebrating the power of individual communities, and they present a new vision of an expansive and diverse artistic canon. Our visitors have a year of unforgettable experiences to look forward to in 2025.”

Tate Modern’s first exhibition of 2025 will focus on the boundary-pushing career of artist, performer, model, designer and musician Leigh Bowery. The show will span his emergence in London’s 1980s club scene through to his outrageous performances in galleries, theatres and the street, using the body as a shape-shifting tool in ways that would go on to inspire Alexander McQueen, Lady Gaga and many more. Later in the spring, Tate Modern’s unique spaces dedicated to performance, film and installation – The Tanks – will host the UK premiere of Hagay Dreaming. This acclaimed performance by experimental new media artist Shu Lea Cheang and practicing shaman Dondon Hounwn combines dance and ritual with laser projections and motion-capture technology.

In the summer, The Genesis Exhibition:Do Ho Suh will invite visitors into the captivating world of this Korean-born, London-based artist. Do Ho Suh’s immersive fabric installations, life-size replicas of his past homes, videos and delicate works on paper ask timely questions about belonging and connection, and explore the intricate relationship between architecture and the body. It will then be joined by the first major exhibition of work by Emily Kam Kngwarray ever held in Europe. One of Australia’s greatest artists, Kngwarray was a senior Anmatyerr woman, a community from the Utopia region (north-east of Mparntwe/Alice Springs), whose paintings reflected her ritual, spiritual and ecological engagement with her homelands. Tate Modern will tell her powerful story and showcase the monumental, shimmering canvases she created in her late 70s and early 80s, many of which have never been shown outside Australia.

In the autumn, Tate Modern will unveil a landmark group exhibition on Nigerian Modernism. The show will celebrate the artists who revolutionised modern art in Nigeria before and after national independence in 1960, combining African and European traditions to create new, multidisciplinary forms across painting, sculpture, textile, literature and poetry. This will coincide with an exhibition taking Picasso's The Three Dancers as its focus, marking 100 years since this iconic painting was made. Foregrounding Picasso’s fascination with dance, sex and death, this deep dive will put a pivotal work of modern art in dialogue with its historic context and with contemporary dance. The final exhibition of the year will be a major photography exhibition about Global Pictorialism, the international movement which first transformed the camera into an artistic tool. It will show how photographers from Shanghai to Sydney, New York to Cape Town, and Brazil to Singapore created beautiful and atmospheric images between the 1880s and 1960s, using experimental new techniques to redefine photography as an art form.

Each season will also be marked by one of Tate Modern’s three high-profile annual commissions. The spring will feature the inaugural Infinities Commission, for which a selected artist will create an experimental and visionary new work for the Tanks. In the autumn the Hyundai Commission will see a world-renowned artist transform the Turbine Hall at the heart of Tate Modern with an ambitious new installation.

Tate Britain will begin the year with a solo exhibition dedicated to one of the most influential British artists of this generation, Ed Atkins. For over a decade, Atkins has been making videos and animations that trace the dwindling gap between representation and embodied experience. This career-spanning exhibition will assemble paintings, writing, embroideries, and drawings alongside his acclaimed moving-image works in a succession of large-scale installations. Later in the spring, two renowned modern artists – Edward Burra and Ithell Colquhoun – will each be the subject of solo exhibitions, giving visitors the chance to see the breadth of their vivid and enigmatic paintings. Both artists took surrealism in different directions from the 1930s onwards, as Burra’s lively scenes of urban subcultures developed into brooding images of war and landscape, while Colquhoun’s treatment of sexual, mythological and dreamlike imagery reflected her fascination with the occult.

In the autumn, Turner & Constable will bring together Britain’s most famous artistic rivals, marking the 250th anniversary of their births. These two great artists vied for success through very different but equally bold approaches, transforming landscape painting in the process. This exhibition will be an unmissable chance to directly compare their spectacular works and see how their rivalry changed the course of British art. Alongside it, Lee Miller will be given the most extensive retrospective of her photography ever staged in the UK. A trailblazing surrealist and an acclaimed fashion and war photographer, Miller’s extraordinary career will be explored through 250 images, including some never previously displayed.

2025 marks the 30th anniversary of Art Now, Tate Britain’s ongoing series of free exhibitions showcasing emerging artistic talent. The year’s programme will open with an exhibition of Hylozoic/Desires (Himali Singh Soin and David Soin Tappeser) followed later in the year by Onyeka Igwe. There will also be a large-scale Jacob Epstein display will open in Tate Britain’s central Duveen galleries, juxtaposing his monumental sculptures in stone with his expressive portrait busts in bronze.

Tate St Ives’s upcoming exhibition of work by Malgorzata Mirga-Tas (opening in autumn 2024) will continue into early 2025. Mirga-Tas is known for her vibrant textile collages created with materials gathered from family and friends. Challenging stereotypical representations of Roma people, her vivid portraits of everyday life are imbued with strength and dignity. In the spring of 2025, Tate St Ives will open a landmark exhibition of one of the most radical artists of her generation, Ithell Colquhoun. An important figure in British Surrealism during the 1930s and 40s, Colquhoun explored the possibilities of divine feminine power and the intertwined realms of art, gender, ecology and magic. This exhibition will bring together over 200 artworks and archival materials – many of which have never been shown publicly before – culminating a room devoted to Colquhoun’s Taro deck.

Liliane Lijn will be celebrated in a career-spanning exhibition in the summer. From the early 1960s, Lijn’s kinetic sculptures envisaged new ways of using technology to ‘see the world in terms of light and energy’ and she has continued to blaze a trail and defy categorisation ever since. Tate St Ives will showcase many of her groundbreaking works using experimental materials, from plastics and prisms to feather dusters and copper wire, which draw on feminist, scientific and linguistic thought. This will be followed in the autumn by an exhibition of Emilija Skarnulytė's immersive films. In Škarnulytė’s work, Cold War military bases, decommissioned power plants and deep-sea data storage units are viewed as relics of a lost human culture. Her filmic journeys, which often delve into ocean and river habitats, explore deep time and invisible power structures to create new mythologies about our endangered planet.

Tate Liverpool, the UK’s most popular museum of modern and contemporary art outside London, is currently undergoing an ambitious transformation. This project will reimagine the gallery to meet the scale and ambition of today’s most exciting artists. While the building at Royal Albert Dock is closed in 2025, Tate Liverpool has taken up residency at RIBA North and will continue its programme of collection displays, family activities and public events. In the summer the gallery will also be part of the 13th edition of Liverpool Biennial, the UK’s largest free festival of contemporary visual art.

When the transformed Tate Liverpool opens in 2026, a new art hall on the ground floor will welcome visitors into a 21st century museum. Gallery spaces over four floors will showcase the incredible diversity of Tate’s collection, and public spaces for learning, play and relaxation will offer spectacular views across the Mersey. Environmental standards and thermal performance will be significantly improved, while revealing more of this 180-year-old Grade I listed building and celebrating the world-class heritage of Liverpool’s waterfront.

Main Image :Emily Kam Kngwarray, Ntang Dreaming 1989 National Gallery of Australia. © Estate of Emily Kam Kngwarray / DACS 2024, All rights reserved

Stephanie Cime

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