Every year Tate gets the first pick of Frieze courtesy of the Outset/Frieze Art Fair Fund, which gives a crack team of Tate curators £120,000 to go shopping for works for its collection before even the V-ist of VIPs is allowed in the door. This year they were joined by Hou Hanru, the director of exhibitions at the San Francisco Art Institute, and Joanna Mytkowska, the director of the new Warsaw Museum of Modern Art.
The result of their early sweep through the stands gives a clear signal of the Tate’s desire to extend its international scope. The team chose six works, including works by two Polish artists, one from Croatia, as well as a sculpture from the Lebanon. All of the artists were firsts for the Tate to acquire. According to Mytkowska, the selection criteria was twofold: “To find great works of art that fitted the interests of Tate’s collections and we also had to observe the museum dimension [choosing] works that were well articulated and major pieces from within the oeuvre of each artist.” The Tate also seemed to be on the lookout for youth, acquiring Gareth Moore’s entire installation from Luttgenmeijer (R12) in the Frame’s young gallery section, and selecting Alice Channer, a 30-year-old British artist represented by The Approach (D10). Tate director Nicholas Serota declared himself delighted with the selection: “It’s a manifesto of what the Tate is doing in terms of the range of its collection to have work from Eastern Europe, the Middle East and also from emerging artists.”