Text: Eduardo Andres Alfonso
The Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, in London, has provided the location for some of the most iconic moments in the recent history of art. Olafur Elliasson’s The Weather Project (2003) and Ai Wei Wei’s Sunflower Seeds being two of the most celebrated in a large history of programming and curation that have used and played upon the industrial space turned museum, designed by Swiss architecture duo Herzog and de Meuron.
This week, over 40 artists from the Americas, who are represented in the permanent collection of the Tate, gathered in New York to celebrate the benefactors from abroad who have made this U.K. institution a destination for artists, patrons, and the global public. The event was also a faraway pre-opening to Herzog and de Meuron’s nearly finished addition to the Tate Modern galleries. The Swiss firm has added an angular brick extension that sits above 3 concrete oil tanks (which will serve as performance spaces) to what, at this point, can be referred to the Tate Modern complex, which with each addition increasingly becomes more dominated by the duo’s designs.
This newly converted industrial space will provide the mise-en-scène for the next set of exciting and forward thinking Tate Modern exhibitions. While the physical museum is far off across an ocean, small maquetes dotted the bars and tables of The Tate Americas Foundation event. The evening saw artists toasting each other’s successes before being whisked away by the influential dealers and gallerist of New York, while photographer (in both the fashion and fine arts sense of the word) Rachel Chandler provided the soundtrack for the evening. As the night came to a close people made their way out of the Chelsea venue into an overcast New York, which coincidentally and perfectly mirrored London’s infamous weather.