Destroyed, Stolen, Discarded, Rejected…in the Gallery of Lost Art

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Arno Breker, 1900-1991

The Torch Bearer and The Sword Bearer (also known as The Party and The Army)
1938

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 Miró, 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 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.”

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.”

Look It! http://galleryoflostart.com/

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