Caruso St John Architects

Location: London, UK
Client: Tate
Project Status: Exhibition Design

This exhibition of eighteenth century sculpture was designed for the Duveen Gallery at Tate Britain. The 25 works comprised figures, busts and reliefs.

The idea of the design was to forge a powerful relationship between the white marble pieces and the grand scale of the stone architecture of the Duveen. The high level windows were covered to exclude natural light, and the works were spot lit, making them appear brilliant white within the darkened interior, and highlighting their surfaces with strong light and shade. The standing figures were arranged in groups, and displayed on deep horizontal plinths of precast concrete, giving each group a strong presence within the open floor. Canova's Three Graces was placed axially at the end of the long gallery, so as to be visible from the moment of entry to the exhibition. Light steel cafe chairs were loosely scattered around the exhibition, so that visitors could sit and sketch the works.