Tate Modern reveals new Switch House extension ahead of public opening

Almost half of the world-famous gallery's solo rooms are now showcasing works by female artists

Jess Denham@jess_denham
Tuesday 14 June 2016 15:33
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A man stands outside the Switch House during the unveiling of the New Tate Modern in London, Britain, June 14, 2016
A man stands outside the Switch House during the unveiling of the New Tate Modern in London, Britain, June 14, 2016

Tate Modern’s new extension, the Switch House, has been unveiled ahead of its public opening on Friday.

The 65-metre tower is part of the gallery’s ongoing £260m renovation, and has been touted as the most important new cultural building in the UK since the British Library. It will allow 60 per cent more artworks from the its collection to be displayed, with over half of the solo displays now showcasing works by female artists.

The 10-storey Switch House offers 360-degree views of London from a roof terrace while a sculptural tree by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei takes centre stage on the bridge that connects the original building with the extension. Performance art and interactive installations expected to enjoy more prominence as a result of increased space.

Ai Weiwei's 7m sculpture of a tree in the new Tate Modern (Rex)

Frances Morris, Tate Modern’s director, said, at a launch event on Tuesday, that visitors will find “more international art, more art by women and great new installations” in the revamped gallery, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the architects which transformed the Bankside Power Station into the Tate Modern in 2000.

The Tate Modern is the most-visited modern art gallery in the world, with numbers set to grow when it officially reopens on 17 June for a weekend of celebrations.

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