Sunday 4 December 2016

Tate buys new artist's toilet roll

Published 14/10/2010 | 16:49

Slovakian artist Julius Koller's artwork Universal Futurological Opening which has been purchased by the Tate at the Frieze Art fair
Slovakian artist Julius Koller's artwork Universal Futurological Opening which has been purchased by the Tate at the Frieze Art fair

The Tate has spent £120,000 on works of art including a toilet roll with an inscription in felt tip pen.

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Curators from the galleries are joined by specially invited guests to visit the Frieze Art fair, in central London, every year and spend money from a special fund which enables them to buy work by up-and-coming artists.

Among the work they bought this year was Slovakian artist Julius Koller's work Universal Futurological Opening which features a toilet roll.

Tate director Nicholas Serota said: "We are grateful for the continuing support of the Outset/Frieze Art Fair Fund which has enabled Tate to significantly extend its collection of work by new and emerging artists.

"This is increasingly important at a time when funding for acquisitions is so limited."

It is not the first time the Tate has bought work which might seem to belong more in the bathroom than in a gallery.

It owns a replica of Marcel Duchamp's Fountain which consists of a urinal laid on its back and signed R. Mutt 1917.

The gallery also bought a numbered tin of a work called Merda d'artista by Italian artist Piero Manzoni.

It is not clear what is actually in the tin which has never been opened.

Press Association

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