UK’s ‘biggest immersive art experience’, showing huge digital images of Cézanne and Klimt, is planned for London

As the immersive cultural experiences industry booms, a new venue focused on exhibiting large-scale digital artworks will open in London this fall. The multi-sensory immersive art experience will be the largest in the UK, according to its organisers.

Frameless, as the cultural attraction must be known, will be housed in a newly redeveloped tower complex at Marble Arch and occupy a 30,000 square foot space over two floors, for which it has a 15-year lease. Digital renderings of works by artists such as Cézanne, Kandinsky, Monet, Canaletto, Rembrandt and Klimt will be projected using 4K resolution technology onto the walls, floors and ceilings of the space. Organizers of Frameless promise the experience will be “highly Instagrammable”, and its managing director Richard Relton says he hopes the venue will become “one of London’s top ten attractions”.

The organization will partner with Japanese electronics conglomerate Panasonic, which will provide much of the technology for the exhibition space.

Team Lab Borderless in Tokyo. Courtesy of TeamLab

With this London launch, Frameless organizers hope to emulate the success of similar immersive art experiences around the world, such as L’Atelier des Lumières in Paris, which hosted a sold-out Van Gogh show in 2019 that went on to go on. toured Dubai, and teamLab’s Boderless in Tokyo, which opened a number of locations in East Asia and the United States. Tickets for Borderless cost around £30.

Organizers say the plan is for Frameless to eventually become a “multi-location experience”, with more attractions rolling out to major cities over the next five years. Asked if these upcoming experiences would look like London in the form of permanent or long-term venues, or if they would be pop-up shows, a Frameless spokesperson said: “The focus is currently focused on acquiring future sites for Frameless in the long term, but we are of course open to considering pop-up opportunities as the digital immersive arts sector grows and diversifies.”

The immersive entertainment industry has been valued in a 2020 report by the AI ​​research institute HERE to £45.7 billion, a 19% growth on 2019. This figure is expected to have increased in 2021. This boom has been closely watched in recent years in a a number of sectors of the art world, and many hope the swell in public interest in “artistic experiences” could provide a financial boost to struggling sectors of the industry, such as museums.

London institutions that have tried to lead the charge include the Serpentine Galleries, which are currently showing the immersive exhibition Alienarium 5 by French installation artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (until September 4). The exhibit includes a room-filling 360-degree collage, olfactory elements developed by a perfumer, and a major virtual reality (VR) component. In 2020, the establishment released a report titled Future Ecosystems which detailed how arts institutions could integrate new technologies to better leverage multiple revenue streams, brokering corporate sponsorships and partnering with real estate developers to deliver paid experiences to the mass market.

Immersive change also offers new revenue streams for commercial galleries. Superblue, the experiential art company launched in Miami in 2020 by Pace Gallery president Marc Glimcher, opened its London branch last year with an exhibition by artist duo AA Murakami.

John C. Dent