Tate Modern to celebrate 20th birthday with giant spider return

By Sherna Noah, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Tate Modern is to celebrate its 20th anniversary with the return of a giant spider.

Nearly 100 million people have flocked to what is now the world’s most-visited museum of modern and contemporary art since the Queen officially opened its doors on May 11 2000.

Giant spider Maman, by artist Louise Bourgeois – the very first work visitors encountered – will return to the Turbine Hall in May.

Maman 1999, a sculpture by French-born artist Louise Bourgeois of a giant spider, stands outside the Tate Modern gallery in London (Fiona Hanson/PA)

A special exhibition dedicated to Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, who staged protests in the 1960s with dancers who had polka dots spray-painted on their bodies, will also mark the anniversary.

Kusama’s work on show will include Chandelier Of Grief, “a room which creates the illusion of a boundless universe of rotating crystal chandeliers”.

The museum will also show performance works, including two workers painting the walls black and white “in turn in an endless cycle”, three yoga practitioners wearing military uniforms executing a sequence of yoga “warrior poses”, and a pair of twins connected by their interwoven hair.

Tate Modern director Frances Morris said: “We will shine a spotlight on some of the newest artists to join our collection, go behind the scenes in our conservation studio, and run talks and tours across the building.

“We also want to highlight some of the artists Tate Modern has championed over the past 20 years – Kusama and Bourgeois … not only represent our commitment to great artists with truly international careers, but they also embody art’s journey from the avant-gardes of the early 20th century to the immersive installations being created today.”

The day will feature a dedicated programme of displays and performances across the museum.