Tate Modern in the UK is the most visited modern art gallery in the world with around 4.7 million visitors per year. For a limited time among its exhibits, visitors saw a Masterflex® pump in action.
The pump was installed as part of a retrospective exhibition about Richard Hamilton, a founding figure in the Pop Art movement. As part of this retrospective, Roger Hiorns, a leading contemporary UK artist, worked with Cole-Parmer to develop a kinetic element showing dye being dropped and dispersed in a beaker.
It was critical for the impact of the piece to dispense identical drops of a specific size at set intervals during the day. The pump needed to run unattended and maintenance-free for a six-month period. To achieve this, the exhibit uses a Masterflex dispensing drive with an FMI Q-series piston pump head.
Cole-Parmer’s Application Specialist, Michael Hassan, explained: “To deliver highly repeatable droplets for an extended period, valveless piston pump technology is ideal. They require minimal maintenance, and are capable of dispensing accurately for millions of cycles. Combined with the intuitive Masterflex dispensing drive, we were able to deliver a user-friendly solution, allowing Roger to fine-tune the size of the droplet and know that it would run maintenance-free throughout the exhibition.”
The piece explores Sir D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s On Growth and Form (1917). The book explained morphogenesis, the process by which patterns are formed in animals and plants. Inspired by D’Arcy, Richard Hamilton brought together in 1951 a range of organic and scientific materials, demonstrations and photographs, making use of the most up-to-date imaging techniques.
The exhibition has now closed at Tate Modern but you can view it this month at Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid.