New collection displays have just opened at Tate Modern and include many works by North and Latin American artists that were recently acquired through the North American Acquisitions Committee, the Latin American Acquisitions Committee, and gifts from donors. Highlights that feature recent TAF Acquisitions include –

Natalie Bell Building, Level 4 West
The Materials and Objects display looks at the inventive ways in which artists around the world use diverse materials. Increasingly over the last hundred years, artists have challenged the idea that certain materials are unsuitable for art. Some employ industrial materials and methods, while others adapt craft skills, or put the throwaway products of consumer society to new uses.

Leonardo Drew
In Number 185, 2016 long slats and logs protrude from a central grid, suggesting the force of nature disrupting the constructed world. Drew weathered and painted the wood used in these works to make them appear salvaged and charred. He describes ‘becoming the weather’ in his process of transforming the wood, emphasising our interconnectedness with forces larger than ourselves. Drew numbers his works rather than giving them descriptive titles. This allows viewers to create their own associations with their forms.

Natalie Bell Building, Level 2 East
In Inherited Threads, artworks are exhibited which incorporate used textile fragments or reference textile traditions to demonstrate the ways in which cloth holds memory. Textiles often carry personal, cultural and familial meaning. People without access to art studios or a formal art education have employed textiles found in the home as a creative medium.

Gee’s Bend Quilts
The Gee’s Bend quiltmakers are an intergenerational community of African American women living in the isolated hamlet of Boykin (Gee’s Bend), Alabama. Many of the quiltmakers are direct descendants of the enslaved people forced to labor at the cotton plantation established there by Joseph Gee in 1816. Though the Gee’s Bend quilts were originally made by necessity as bedspreads and blankets, the tradition has continued with new generations. In recent years the quilts have been shown in fine art museums and galleries internationally, displayed for their improvisatory compositions and resourceful use of materials. Currently on view are Mary Lee Bendolph (pictured, right), Annie Mae Young, and Aolar Mosely.

Antonio Pichilla Quiacain
Contemporary artist Antonio Pichilla Quiacain explores the cultural significance of textiles in relation to his heritage. He is influenced by the Maya culture of his grandparents, while also reflecting aspects of geometric modernist abstract painting in his woven works. In Kukulkan 2017 (pictured, left), a multi-color fabric appears folded in a zig-zag form, cutting through the area of a canvas with a black-dotted stripe on a bright yellow background. The abstract pattern of these stripes is a quotation to the design of traditional whitecloth trousers with black stripes worn by Maya-Tz`utujil senior men in San Pedro la Laguna, the artists’ birthplace.

These displays will be followed in July by a display of recently acquired photographs by Martha Rosler and two photographic series by Laura Aguilar and Lyle Ashton Harris.

11 July 2022