Over their time as sponsors of the London gallery Unilever have given them £4.4 million and have commissioned 13 pieces for the Turbine Hall including Ai Weiwei’s sunflower seed installation and most recently Tino Sehgal’s live performance piece These Associations.
So why have they parted ways? Well the answer is actually pretty straight forward and not as scandalous as we first thought. The Turbine Hall is due to be closed throughout 2013 so that work can get underway on their new extension which has been designed by Herzog & de Meuron. And you know what that means, no space, no art so no need for a sponsor.
Due to reopen in 2014 the Tate are now looking for a new company or brand to sponsor the space once it’s reopened. No doubt they wont be short of a few offers.