What's on at Tate Modern in 2024
It's the most visited contemporary art gallery in the world, with over 3.8 million visitors walking through the doors in 2022. That also makes it the fourth most visited art museum — covering any period — on the planet. So it's no wonder you want to find out what Tate Modern's 2024 exhibitions are.
The gallery on the South Bank of the Thames is planning a packed programme of blockbuster shows in 2024. The subjects are eclectic, meaning it'll be even more of a go-to destination for art lovers in London this year.
Here's what's on right now, and what you've got to look forward to.
A World in Common: Contemporary African Photography
Now open — until 14 January 2024
This major exhibition celebrates photography across the African continent today. On display are around 100 works by 36 artists from different generations and geographies, but who all use photography and video to examine legacies of the past while imagining more hopeful futures. Visitors experience three thematic sections across seven rooms, which collectively highlight Africa through its own lens.
It begins with Nigerian George Osodi and his photographs of the kings and queens of the monarchies on the continent that still survive today, and who still play a role in African identity. The exhibition goes on to show intimate scenes of family life, fading archival postcards of vanishing cities, and stark documentary images of post-industrial ruin.
A World in Common has been praised by some critics — the Observer's Laura Cumming calls the show a "vital experience" in a five star review. But it's not universally loved: the Sunday Times' Waldemar Januszczak thinks it's "a puzzling event."
Now open — until 25 February 2024
In what is quite possibly the best-reviewed art exhibition in the UK for many years, this career-spanning retrospective of the American artist has not been without its controversy. Delayed by Tate Modern and the three other collaborating US museums after the murder of George Floyd in 2020, the original four-year postponement was shortened due to extensive outrage from the art world.
Now finally open, it's Guston's first major UK retrospective in 20 years, and it spans more than 100 paintings and drawings from across his momentous 50-year career. It offers new insight into the artist’s formative early years and activism, as well as his celebrated period of abstraction, and his thought-provoking late works. With an outlook strongly shaped by his experiences of personal tragedy and by social injustice in the US, it's Guston's depictions of hate groups that lingers longest in the memory for visitors. His is the art of resistance, and according to Time Out London, the show is quite simply "amazing."
Capturing the Moment
Now open — until 28 April 2024
An exhibition examining the relationship between photography and painting, it features some of the most iconic and world-famous artworks of the twentieth century. From the expressive paintings of Pablo Picasso and Paula Rego, to striking photographs by Hiroshi Sugimoto and Jeff Wall, visitors discover how the two distinct mediums have shaped each other over time.
The show is a rare opportunity to see in the UK the extraordinary works from Taiwan's YAGEO Foundation Collection. There's paintings by Francis Bacon, Gerhard Richter and Peter Doig and photographs by Thomas Struth, Andreas Gursky and Hiroshi Sugimoto, shown in dialogue with many recent additions to Tate’s collection, including works by Lorna Simpson, John Currin, Laura Owens, Michael Armitage and Louise Lawler.
Other key works by Lisa Brice, Miriam Cahn, Peter Doig, Marlene Dumas, David Hockney and Paulina Olowska show yet more ways in which the style, composition, content and meaning of contemporary painting exists in dialogue with photography.
Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms
Now open — until 28 April 2024
This display of two of the globally-renowned artist's Infinity Mirror Rooms has been open for nearly three years, but Tate promises it will finally close for good in April 2024. A smash hit ever since it opened, visitors have flocked to experience these immersive installations — and to capture it for the 'gram.
Guests step into Kusama’s unique vision of endless reflections. Chandelier of Grief is a room which creates the illusion of a boundless universe of rotating crystal chandeliers while Infinity Mirrored Room – Filled with the Brilliance of Life is one of Kusama’s largest installations to date and was made for her 2012 retrospective at Tate Modern. It features coloured lights and reflective pools of water.
Opens 5 February until 1 September 2024
A huge career retrospective of the famous conceptual and performance artist will open at Tate Modern in February. Spanning seven decades, it'll feature all the key moments that have made Ono a globally-recognised name.
Renowned for her activism, as well as her campaigns for world peace and a better environment, the show has been conceived in close collaboration with Ono’s studio. It's going to be the largest exhibition celebrating the ground-breaking artist ever held in the UK.
Over 200 artworks will make up the show. There'll be 'instruction pieces' — where visitors are asked via written instructions to imagine, experience, make or complete the artwork — as well as installations, films, scores, music and photography. Ono's London years will be at the heart of the exhibition.
Another major highlight will be the show's big finale: a new iteration of Ono's 2004 work My Mommy Is Beautiful which consists of a 15-metre-long wall of canvases that visitors can attach photographs of their own mothers, as well as sharing personal thoughts and feelings.
Opens 25 April until 20 Oct 2024
The Blue Rider Group — also known as Der Blaue Reiter — were a circle of artist friends and close collaborators. They were founded in Munich in 1911 by Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc, and they all shared an interest in expressing a spiritual dimension in painting. They experimented with colour, sound and light, and they created bold and vibrant works. Together they wanted to transform modern art, which is why they are the subject of a major show at Tate Modern in the spring of 2024.
30 works by The Blue Rider circle go on show. Visitors will experience a collection of masterpieces from paintings, sculpture, and photography to performance and sound. It's a huge collaboration with the German gallery Lenbachhaus in Munich who have offered Tate unprecedented access to their collection. The artworks which will go on show in London will be the first time they've been brought together in the UK in 80 years.
Opens 6 June 2024 and runs until 26 January 2026
Acclaimed photographer Zanele Muholi is getting a major career retrospective at Tate Modern — in what is actually a second attempt. The first iteration of this show was massively curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic at the end of 2020.
This second incarnation promises to be even bigger, and to include new works produced in the intervening three years. In total over 260 photographs will go on display, representing the full breadth of the artist’s career to date.
Muholi describes themself as a visual activist. From the early 2000s, they have documented and celebrated the lives of South Africa’s Black lesbian, gay, trans, queer and intersex communities.
A number of Muholi’s key photographic series will be highlights of this exhibition. These include the early series Only Half the Picture, and Faces and Phases, where each participant looks directly at the camera, challenging the viewer to hold their gaze.
Other key series of works include Brave Beauties, which celebrates empowered non-binary people and trans women, many of whom have won Miss Gay Beauty pageants, and Being, a series of tender images of couples which challenge stereotypes and taboos.
Opens 27 June 2024 until 27 Apr 2025
The immersive artworks of English-born, US-based artist Anthony McCall come to Tate Modern in what's being described as a 'focused' exhibition.
Seen as a pioneer of film environments — and most famous for his ‘solid-light’ installations — McCall is now 77 years old. His exhibition will let visitors enter and explore his huge artworks, which are mostly created from a thin mist pierced by slowly evolving planes of projected light.
A major highlight will be Anthony McCall's first ever 'solid-light’ installation: Line Describing a Cone. Created in 1973, the 30-minute-long work tests the boundaries between cinema and sculpture and takes the form of a projected white dot that slowly grows to fill the dark space with a cone of light. It immerses its audience members in its field.
Opens 3 October 2024 until 9 March 2025
An entire career-spanning exhibition on the American artist Mike Kelley will show how the artist produced provocative art from the 1970s until his death aged 57 in 2012. The art world celebrated him, praising his unsettling multimedia work, which often used installation, performance and music. And despite his artwork appearing in galleries around the globe, there’s never been a major exhibition dedicated to him in Britain before.
Drawing on references from popular and underground culture, literature, and philosophy, Kelley explored how the roles we play in society are entangled with historical fact and imaginary characters from the films and images we consume. The exhibition will bring together his diverse body of experimental and performance pieces: from sculptures made with plush toys to multi-media installations set to music such as Day Is Done.
Opens 28 November 2024 until 1 June 2025
Tate Modern are really building anticipation for this show — they are saying it will be one of the "most ambitious exhibitions" they've ever held. It will celebrate the early innovators of optical, kinetic, programmed and digital art, who pioneered a new era of immersive sensory installations and automatically-generated works.
With a focus on art produced between the 1950s and 1980s — from the birth of op art to the dawn of cybernetics — it will bring together groundbreaking works by a wide range of international artists who engaged with science, technology and material innovation.