Tate Modern curator Jessica Morgan explains the gallery’s acquisition of the stunning work by Pavel Althamer at the Foksal Gallery Foundation stand at this year’s Frieze Art Fair.
‘He’s definitely an artist we have identified for the collection. This piece in particular we found compelling because, in the way Pavel’s work does so often, it looks at a multiplicity of concepts within one work, in this case, the role of the Foksal gallery, which has a very particular history within Warsaw, Poland and other former eastern block countries—it is a place which has been such an important focal point for so many artists. So on the one hand it serves as a homage to what the gallery has been, then looks at its present and its future. It is a play on the mobile unit. And there is something close to discomfort as well in what the artists might feel, at times, participating in art fairs. This gallery has a not for profit practice—the money all goes back to funding what they do, the studios, the publications. It’s sort of an anomaly in the art fair context. Pavel’s piece is partly pointing to the irony of going on the road with the gallery, while at the same time is very much about the artist’s practice and the collective nature of that group of artists.’