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Last Updated: Monday, 22 May 2006, 17:16 GMT 18:16 UK
Tate Modern rearranges collection
Roy Lichtenstein, Whaam! (1963)  Estate of Roy Lichtenstein / DACS 2005
Roy Lichtenstein's iconic Whaam! is one of the featured works
London's Tate Modern has regrouped more than 400 of its artworks in an attempt to keep its collection fresh.

The gallery has organised works around the four "isms" - Minimalism, Cubism, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism.

However, it admits the displays, which move back and forward in time, could prove challenging to visitors more used to seeing chronological exhibitions.

Approximately 40% of the works have been hidden away in storage since Tate Modern opened in 2000.

"To a certain degree, complexity and confusion are good things," said Frances Morris, who is head of displays at the gallery.

"We have tried not to be deliberately confusing, but it is in the nature of art. It enables people to ask questions."


More than 25 million visitors have passed through the former London power station, seeing displays grouped around the four original themes of Landscape, Still Life, History and The Nude.

The gallery's management deemed this set-up to be dated and in need of replacement.

"This is not just old wine in new bottles," added Ms Morris. "There is a real sense of freshness and discovery."

Among the works on view for the first time is Roy Lichtenstein's iconic Whaam!, from 1963.

Dozens of new acquisitions will also be hung, with rooms devoted to Cildo Meireles, Juan Munoz, Thomas Schutte and Tomoko Takahashi.

To mark the launch, Tate Modern is planning a four-day arts festival, which begins on Friday.

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