Some of the most significant artwork of the 20th century has never had the chance to be appreciated in public or private galleries. Either destroyed, stolen, or lost to time, these works from great artists have all but disappeared, leaving the art world to wonder what might have been. The wondering ends, however, with the opening of Tate’s Gallery of Lost Art.
Designed by digital studio ISO and curated by Tate, ‘The Gallery of Lost Art’ offers online visitors the opportunity to thumb through a virtual exhibition of gone-but-not-forgotten works by artists such as Marcel Duchamp, Frida Kahlo, and Diego Rivera, among others. Channel 4 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council also collaborated on the project, which uses films, interviews, essays and images to reveal the illuminating stories behind these lost treasures. Viewers can pore over each piece with forensic detail through kind of a case file that’s spread out across a table onscreen, or pinned to a corkboard. In some instances, they will uncover tales of adventure and betrayal; in others, simple absentmindedness. The overall effect, though, is like walking through an art morgue, and is about as morbidly fascinating as it sounds.
The exhibit opened on July 2nd and will display its findings for one year before they are lost to the ages again.