aerial view of the exhibition floor of the tate ‘gallery of lost art’

curated by tate and developed by UK creative studio ISO, ‘the gallery of lost art‘ is a year-long online exhibition of artworks that have disappeared for reasons of thef, arson, rejection, discarding, or the temporary nature of the project itself, among other reasons. ‘art history tends to be the history of what has survived,‘ reflects the gallery’s curator jennifer mundy, ‘but loss has shaped our sense of art’s history in ways that we are often not aware of.‘

the website is visually structured as an open warehouse floor, viewed from above, with different chalk headers on the ground delineating the subject of that area of the gallery: destroyed, stolen, discarded, rejected, erased, or ephemeral. users can zoom into particular areas, and by clicking on specific projects they can access essays, photos, film footage or interviews, and other material about the artwork. the circumstances behind the loss of the piece are also documented.

initially opened with the works of 20 renowned artists– among them frida kahlo, marcel duchamp, and tracey emin– the ‘gallery of lost art’ is expected to more than double its exhibition pieces by the end of 2012, adding one new work each week for six months. six months after it is complete, the website itself will disappear like the pieces that it had preserved.

explore history’s lost artworks at ‘the gallery of lost art‘!

the tate gallery of lost art exhibition view of tracey emin’s ‘everyone I have ever slept with’, lost to history because of a fire

the tate gallery of lost art tracey emin: ‘everyone I have ever slept with’

jane burton, creative director of tate media, elaborates:

‘‘the gallery of lost art’ is a ghost museum, a place of shadows and traces. it could only ever exist virtually. the challenge was to come up with a way of showcasing these artworks and telling their stories, when, in many cases, poor-quality images are all we have left of them. the result is a new way of looking at art: an immersive website in the form of a vast warehouse, where visitors can explore the evidence laid out for them. soundscapes and documentary films add to the rich content experience.‘

the tate gallery of lost art ‘large head (the new man)’ plaster sculpture by otto freundlich, on view in the ‘attacked’ exhibition of the ‘gallery of lost art’ since it is presumed destroyed

‘the gallery of lost art’ is produced in partnership with channel 4 and with support from the british arts and humanities research council (AHRC).

the tate gallery of lost art additional information on ‘the gallery of lost art’ about marcel duchamp’s missing ‘fountain’, here documenting the ‘portable museum’ about the project that the artist made in the early 1940s to preserve his works