Fifth year of Outset/Frieze Art Fair Fund: What Tate bought at Frieze

This year the budget was £150,000, spent on just four pieces


For the fifth year running The Outset/Frieze Art Fair Fund has given two prominent international curators along with a crack team from the Tate a budget of £150,000 and privileged early access to the fair in order to acquire works for the Tate collection.

This year’s overseas duo were Udo Kittelmann, director of the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt am Mann and Lisette Lagnado, curator of the 27th São Paulo Bienal who were joined by Jessica Morgan, Tate’s curator of contemporary art, and Frances Morris and Anne Gallagher, respectively heads of Tate’s International and British Collections.

They were allowed into the fair early and the results of their high-speed shopping spree reveals a break with previous panels in that this time their purchases were restricted to just four pieces: a large sculpture of a windmill by Andreas Slominski from Berlin’s Galerie Neu (B4); a series of black and white photographs by Mauro Restiffe from Casa Triângulo in São Paulo (F23); a two-screen slide projection by Armando Andrade Tudela at London’s Carl Freedman (B1); and a large mixed media installation by Pawel Althamer which occupies the entire stand of Warsaw’s Foksal Gallery Foundation (E6) and includes works by fellow Poles Wilhelm Sasnal, Monika Sosnowska, Jakub Julian Ziolkowski and Artur Zmijewski.

“All our choices are museum quality pieces,” said Lisette Lagnado.

“In very different ways all the four pieces make a strong statement about architecture, whether in photographs, sculpture or by creating an environment in their own right,” said Udo Kittleman.

For his part, Sir Nicholas Serota was very pleased with this year’s addition to Tate’s collections. “The outset fund has been crucial in what we have been able to do in terms of buying art by emerging artists,” he told The Art Newspaper. However,

Tate’s director also took the opportunity to criticise some of the exhibitors for their lack of ambition.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'What Tate bought at Frieze'