The Guardian explores the Tate Britain’s new show of work acquired by the museum.
The exhibition, Classified, showcases recent additions to the Tate collection. [Show curator Andrew] Wilson said: “I sincerely believe that this art is amongst the best work that has been made in the last 15 years or so.”
Fourteen artists are represented in total – including Jeremy Deller, Simon Starling, Martin Creed and Tacita Dean – but the daddies of the show are Hirst, with four works including Pharmacy, and Jake and Dinos Chapman.
At the core of the show was a desire to show the Chapman Brothers’ Chapman Family Collection – “one of the most important works of the last 10, even 20, years,” said Wilson – and from that, a theme evolved around collecting and classification. “It is about how it brings order to the world around us,” said Wilson. “We weren’t, in this exhibition, trying to identify any trend as such.”
The Tate bought Chapman Family Collection in 2007 for £1.5m after a fundraising campaign. The smell of incense hits you when you enter the room and tour the 34 wooden carvings, masquerading as rare ethnographic objects from the colonies – artefacts you perhaps might see in your local museum. Look closer and there are references over and again to McDonalds – even the Chapmans’ classification numbers are, it is said, the real telephone numbers of branches of the burger chain.
Art at Tate Britain: It’s Classified (Guardian)