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Tate Liverpool set for temporary closure ahead of transformation

Tate Liverpool is preparing to temporarily close to embark on a bold capital project to renew the gallery, building on the accomplishments of the previous 35 years.

The gallery will host a celebratory weekend on 14 and 15 October before closing its doors for a major reimagining of the landmark building on Royal Albert Dock. The gallery will reopen in 2025 after being renovated.

Tate Liverpool set for temporary closure ahead of transformation
Picture by Gareth Jones

Although the Royal Albert Dock building will be closed for renovations beginning on October 16, Tate Liverpool will relocate to the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) North, Mann Island, on October 27, 2023.

Tate Liverpool, founded in 1988, helped lay the groundwork for a wave of new galleries across the UK, redefining the role of the museum in city life and leading an innovative cultural regeneration of Liverpool’s post-industrial waterfront. Since 1988, the gallery has received over 20 million visitors, making it the most visited modern and contemporary art gallery outside of London.

Tate Liverpool is currently collaborating with 6a architects to reimagine gallery spaces to meet the scale and ambition of today’s most exciting artists, as well as to welcome visitors into a brand-new museum environment for the twenty-first century. The designs depict a new public ‘Art Hall’ and events space on the ground floor, which has been opened up to allow for natural light and views of the historic dock.

Tate Liverpool set for temporary closure ahead of transformation
Picture by Gareth Jones

The new gallery spaces, which span three floors and are interspersed with public riverside foyers, will highlight the incredible diversity of Tate’s collection. The gallery’s façade will be opened up, increasing its visibility on the waterfront and within the Royal Albert Dock, creating an inviting destination with striking spaces for learning, play, and relaxation.

Helen Legg, Director, Tate Liverpool, said:

“After 35 years of success in Liverpool and 20 million visitors, the time is right to invest in the next phase of the gallery. We want to do even more for our visitors, our city, and for art by transforming this utterly unique gallery complex. 

“Whilst we are embracing renewal, we are determined to retain and celebrate the world-class heritage of this remarkable 180-year building, whilst at the same time addressing today’s urgent demands for equality of access, energy-efficiency, and flexible spaces for future generations.”

Maria Balshaw, Director of Tate, said:

“Tate Liverpool opened in 1988 as a promise to the North to bring the best of Tate’s collection to new audiences. 35 years later there is an enormous amount to feel proud of, but as Liverpool continues to evolve, so must Tate. We are now investing in our building so Tate Liverpool can welcome the widest range of local, national and international visitors as part of a revitalised waterfront. Brilliant art and artists will be at the heart of a world class experience that is free for everyone to enjoy.”

A weekend of free activities will precede the building’s closure, as well as the final opportunity to view the national collection of art in its current form. There will be various activities for visitors to enjoy and take away from the event on both days, including placard-making inspired by Bob and Roberta Smith. Visitors can leave their mark in the gallery by joining artists Vanessa Scott and Andy Wolfden in contributing personal memories and future hopes to a communal mural.

Artist Torkwase Dyson will be in attendance to activate her sculptural installation Liquid A Place 2021 in an intimate collaborative performance with DJ Lynnée Denise. Through poetry, film and music the artists will explore the music of the African diaspora within the context of social justice. Acclaimed writer Lauren Elkin will be in discussion with Turner Prize-winning artist Lubaina Himid for a special talk and there will also be a specially commissioned, limited-edition artist made prints in the Tate Liverpool party bag.


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