The Gallery of Lost Art is an online exhibition that tells the stories of artworks that have disappeared. Destroyed, stolen, discarded, rejected, erased, ephemeral - some of the most significant artworks of the last 100 years have been lost and can no longer be seen.
This virtual year-long exhibition explores the sometimes extraordinary and sometimes banal circumstances behind the loss of major works of art. Archival images, films, interviews, blogs and essays are laid out for visitors to examine, relating to the loss of works by over 40 artists across the twentieth century, including such figures as Marcel Duchamp, Joan Miro, Willem de Kooning, Rachel Whiteread and Tracey Emin.
The Gallery of Lost Art is curated by Tate, designed by digital studio ISO, and produced in partnership with Channel 4, with additional support from The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
Jennifer Mundy, curator of The Gallery of Lost Art, says: "Art history tends to be the history of what has survived. But loss has shaped our sense of art's history in ways that we are often not aware of. Museums normally tell stories through the objects they have in their collections. But this exhibition focuses on significant works that cannot be seen."Â
The Gallery of Lost Art will last for one year before itself being lost. It launched on 2 July 2012 featuring 20 artworks, and a new work is added each week over six months until the exhibition is complete. Beyond these showcased works, the site provides a platform for interaction, discussion and commentary on the subject of lost art as a whole.
Jane Burton, Creative Director, Tate Media, says: "The Gallery of Lost Art is a ghost museum, a place of shadows and traces. It could only ever exist virtually. The challenge was to come up with a way of showcasing these artworks and telling their stories, when, in many cases, poor quality images are all we have left of them. The result is a new way of looking at art: an immersive website in the form of a vast warehouse, where visitors can explore the evidence laid out for them."Â
Tate Media complements the four Tate galleries by working beyond the traditional gallery context, and actively engaging large audiences through both traditional communications and innovative online and multimedia programmes, for which it has won numerous awards, including five Baftas.
Channel 4 is the UK's only publicly-owned, commercially-funded public service broadcaster, with a remit to be innovative, experimental and distinctive. We work across television, film and digital media to deliver our public service remit, as outlined in the 2003 Communications Act and most recently the 2010 Digital Economy Act.
ISO is one of the UK's leading creative studios, specialising in digital cultural projects across TV, online and installation. The studio produces Central Station the independent social channel for emergent filmmakers, designers and visual artists in over 4000 cities worldwide.
The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Each year the AHRC provides approximately Â£98 million from the Government to support research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities. In any one year, the AHRC makes hundreds of research awards ranging from individual fellowships to major collaborative projects as well as over 1,000 studentship awards. Awards are made after a rigorous peer review process, to ensure that only applications of the highest quality are funded. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK.