* Prices may differ from that shown
Last weekend I went to London to visit my mum for a couple of days. Of course I miss my mum with her living a little distance away. However, I do like that's she lives in a vibrant fun city and there is always loads to do as well as catching up with her any my step dad. Husband Rick also joined me on my latest visit.
I had never visited The Tate Modern before and neither had husband Rick. Earlier this year when in Bournemouth we had both enjoyed galleries. My mum is keen on galleries and regularly visits Tate Modern and so it was decided this would be how we spent our Saturday afternoon.
The Tate Modern is one of 4 other national Tate galleries in the UK. As well as Tate Modern there is also Tate Britain (also in London), Tate Liverpool, and Tate St Ives. The first Tate gallery was opened in 1955 after the wealthy industrialist Henry Tate offered his collection to the nation. All of the Tate galleries are free to enter.
We caught the overground train into London Waterloo. For us this was a nice straightforward train journey with no changes and taking around 25 minutes. From London Waterloo we exited at the main exit, turned left and walked along the South Bank. I love walking along the South Bank as you get to see the beauty of the Thames, the different cafés and restaurants and the hustle of Londoners and the tourists alike. However, along this stretch of the Southbank you will not come across many street performers as they are mostly located in the opposite direction. The walk from Waterloo station is longer than I expected to The Tate at around 15 minutes at a descent pace.
Closer to Tate Modern than our chosen station is Southwark station (approx. 600 meters), Blackfriars (approx. 800 meters), and St Pauls (approx. 1,100 meters). London Bridge station is also approximately 1,100 meters from Tate Modern and many buses are also close to the gallery.
There are no parking facilities near Tate Modern and it is inside the London Congestion Zone and so public transport is your best option with this attraction.
My first impressions of the outside of The Tate Modern were quite muted. In all honestly I didn't really realise we had arrived until we were outside and my mum informed Rick and I that this was it.
From the outside to me Tate Modern is a very uninspiring building that does not draw you in nor does it grab your attention. The Tate Modern building was originally a London power station converted after it no longer had its original use. The building is very large and grey with to me the stand out point being its size. To me the building fades into the backdrop a little. Perhaps I expected a more architecturally significant building to host some of the countries best modern art. However, looking online I can see that The Tate Modern does have plans to expand by adding an iconic new building. The building plans to be an asymmetric interesting looking 'arty' type building that is perhaps more inline with my ideas of a modern art gallery.
I was expecting that when entering Tate Modern that like with large London Museums I have visited in the past that our bags would be searched and we would need to go through a body metal detector scanner. This was however not the case and we walked straight into the gallery.
On first being inside the Tate Modern Rick and I were both amazed at the mass on unused space. The ground floor seems empty and just waiting to be filled by modern art pieces. Particularly the height of the entrance makes it feel peculiar in its emptiness. My mum informed us that there used to be pieces of artwork hanging in this area but that health and safety put a stop to this huge entrance area bring used in the gallery to its potential.
Of course art is all down to personal taste. For me nothing is so true as modern art and what is actually considered 'art'. On our visit the first floor of artwork was perhaps the most 'out there' and unfamiliar in terms of artwork. Unfortunately there were a few bits that I was pretty unimpressed with and that I looked at and thought 'I could do that'.
There was classic pieces if artwork displayed on our visit to Tate Modern. There were pieces that I remember studying when I was in high school actually on display. In particular The Snail by Henri Mattise and a favourite of mine Composition Blue Red and Yellow by Mondrian.
Each floor as well as the pictures and sculptures had more interactive pieces. There were dark rooms we entered with videos on display. On that I found really very compelling was a video watching people work including Chinese ladies in a factory putting components together and men working in the west adjusting light bulbs. A less impressive video to me was a little 'Art Attack' style with the video watching an artist create a large scale picture.
The art work at Tate Modern changes and there is normally a featured art event. On our visit there was Agnes Martin work displayed. I think this was on the third floor. However, this was the one part that was not free and because you needed to pay to go in we decided against it having not been familiar with this artist.
There seemed to be 2 gift shops. One on the ground floor and one smaller version on the second floor.
I really like that it is possible to buy a print from the gallery after seeing the original piece. There are also prints of pictures when the original is not in the gallery. The first print that I was drawn to was £70, needless to say I didn't like that one enough to buy it. Most other prints though were much more affordable and we ended up buying one for just £6.
As well as prints for sale there was also art books, posters, and even pillow cases with prints on. I really enjoyed mooching around the Gift Shop of Tate Modern particularly because some of it is affordable for me.
There are toilet facilities on every floor. I really like this as it means that you do not have to stop appreciating art and go back up or down stairs to use the facilities. I used the toilets on the third floor but my mum informs me that the toilets are the same on ever floor. In the ladies there are 4 cubicles and it is much like the style if the building. Everything in the ladies is black and grey. It is quite basic, yet practical with a few little extras you always hope for such as somewhere to hang your hand bag and the quick and easy Dyspn hand dryers. The toilets could certainly be much more luxurious but I found them clean and practical.
Walking around the Tate Modern the inside does not seem to flow too well. You walk up the stairs and there is a nice seating area and then walk into the viewing galleries. Rick and I somehow seemed to miss a few areas though walking through the gallery so this is something to look out for as bits are a little confusing.
We were on the Tate Modern for a good few hours. My knees felt sore by the end which for me is really unusual and other people I was with had sore feet. I think this is because the concrete floor is really hard on your feet as you walk around which I am not used to. As a result I recommend using the seating areas on each floor so as to not get too achy by the end.
It is possible to become a Tate member for £62 per year. For this you get to enter the Members Lounge which we were not privy too and you get fast track into exhibitions and free entry to everything in the galleries. You also get to feel you are giving to the art society.
The Tate Modern is fully wheelchair friendly with ramps and lifts and I did not see anyone having difficulty getting around inside.
I really enjoyed visiting Tate Modern. The gallery is easily accessible with good facilities. Art of course is all in the eye of the beholder by very nature. There were lots of modern and classic pieces which I really enjoyed and I would be happy to go again and definitely recommend it.
The Tate Modern gallery is one of four Tate galleries in the UK. The original gallery was founded by Henry Tate in the late nineteenth century, but this branch (which is just for British and international modern art) was not opened until a hundred years or so later. It is situated in a former power station on London’s South Bank; right by the Millennium footbridge and next door to Shakespeare’s Globe theatre so it is really a prime spot in central London.
It is free to visit but they do charge to see special exhibitions. I have seen Matisse Cut-outs last year, and various others in the past. Booking is recommended, but not always cheap although they do have concessions available.
The Turbine Hall is a massive open space on a lower level of the gallery, which is often used for installation type exhibits. I have seen some pretty random things in there over the years.
Alongside the paid for exhibitions there are changing displays of art available to see for free. There are usually several featured artists as well as various theme or concept rooms. Artists may be 'big-hitters' that you have heard of such as Damian Hirst, Salvador Dali or Andy Warhol or people who are new to you, to discover. I'm not going to pretend that you will like all that you are going to see or even 'get' it, but if the idea is to promote discussion about art and ideas, then I think you'll find plenty here.
There is a nice bookshop and expensive café-restaurants with great views. It is also worthwhile using them as a vantage point to admire the northern side of the river with the distinctive dome of St Paul’s Cathedral looming over the buildings on the opposite bank. The gallery is also expanding with a new adjacent building being worked on.
The Tate Modern is an art gallery that used to be a power station which exhibits modern art.
~~~LOCATION AND ACCESS~~~
The Tate Modern is situated opposite St Pauls Cathedral, across the Millennium Bridge, and is a short walk from Southward Underground station. Personally, I like taking the tube to Mansion House station and walking across the Millennium Bridge for excellent views.
The gallery has many entrances, with a large main entrance that leads into the Turbine Hall, as well as others dotted around the site.
The gallery is split into five floors, with a range of permanent exhibitions on display all year round: Material Gestures, Poetry and Dreams, Energy and Process and more.
The permanent exhibitions are extensive and have artwork ranging from Warhol to Monet. My favourite one has to be Poetry and Dreams as it has a range of Pop-art, surrealism and abstract structural works.
The Energy and Processes exhibition is also great, as you can see a range of different media used by artists who are very innovative and inspiring.
Temporary Exhibitions occupying the Turbine Hall have included work from Anish Kapoor, Olafur Eliasson (I unfortunately missed his exhibition- would've been awesome), Doris' Crack as well as Balka's How it Is; the latter two causing real stirs in the media with regards to health and safety...
All in all, the gallery has a wide range of works which will definitely not appeal to everyone. People will criticise and say: "How is THAT art", but many times it is the meaning, the thoughts and the processes that have gone through the mind of the artist that is expressed.
However, the infrequency of exhibitions and the staticity of the permanent exhibitions mean that going frequently is not possible, as you've most likely have seen everything before. I go mostly for the exhibition at the Turbine Hall.
The gallery has a range of facilities, such as a large gift store (with overpriced novelty gifts, art books and other fun quirky things!) and a café. Escalators are slightly weird in that one of them skips two levels, so you will have to navigate effectively, but stairs run all the way down, and there are also lifts.
The Tate Modern offers an alternative gallery for those bored of the figurative pieces of the National Gallery, and the portraits at the National portrait gallery. Modern Art is found here, and will be inspiring for most, boring for some. You don't have to "get" everything to come here, just enjoy the range of media, processes, and the buzz from everyone else.
The exhibitions at the Turbine Hall are highly recommended, as they are mostly interactive; and the interaction between us and the art work, and each other are perhaps what is most interesting. All in all, the Tate Modern provides a interesting and insightful (if not fun) day out!
The Tate Modern is definitely an art gallery you want to check out at least once in your life time. The building is quite spectacular in itself and the pieces of art inside are really interesting. The other good thing about the Tate Modern is it is free to enter (unless you go to the temporary exhibitions) and is very easy to get to and also is designed in a way that is wheelchair friendly.
The Tate Modern is housed in the Bankside Power Station and you can get to it either through the nearby tube stations, the bus routes or a nice walk along the River Thames. This gallery is open nearly every day of the year and is open from the times 10am-6pm Sunday - Thursday and 10am-10pm Friday and Saturday. You can also get the Boat called Tate2Tate which takes you to both the Tate art galleries in London. The Tate Modern is also designed to be easy to access and has lifts for everyone to use but is especially useful for disabled people. There are also staircases and escalators to get round the building.
My favourite part was probably the Turbine Hall which features one massive work of modern art. These pieces of modern art change quite regularly and are free to see. When I went recently there was a massive black box which you walk into in the dark (where you can barely see) and walk along worriedly trying not to bash into anyone else and work out where the end is! There have also been things like giant slides installed here and a crack in the floor!
The gallery has different sections with different types of art such as cubism, pop art, surrealism and futurism among others. You will see many famous pieces and other not so famous ones. For example there are some Picasso, Francis Bacon, Roy Lichtenstein and Salvador Dali but there are also many works of art but people you don`t know or recognise. You can also get an audio guide for £2 which tells you about the art etc. This makes the gallery interesting and it is nice seeing familiar pieces of art and artists but also finding out about some other cool new ones. I think I do like the Picasso and Salvador Dali pieces of art best but the art in this gallery is quite controversial and I think everyone will have an opinion on nearly every piece of art in this gallery.
There are a few occasions and you do think is this really art? For example there was a piece of art which was an old caravan thing or you might see a painting which a two year old could have drawn but I think that is part of the fun of modern art. I like the fact the media used is very varied so it is not just paintings but sculptures, photographs, videos and paintings created by scraping bits of wood along the canvas e.t.c. I personally quite liked a series of pictures showing a man gradually disappearing down a hole, some of the strange Pop Art, some of the famous paintings, the temporary exhibition in the Turbine Hall and much more. As you can see there is a lot of variation which keeps things interesting.
There is a cafe/restaurant at the top floor which provides a nice view over London but the prices there are quite high so I have not had any food there. However the food is meant to be quite nice there and the view is great. Also the money you spend goes towards the gallery and the artwork so it is a pretty good cause. You can also become a member for £50 each year which gives you free entry to all the exhibitions, access to a member`s room, special offers, a magazine and much more.
The official website is at http://www.tate.org.uk/modern and contains information and you can see the types of art at the gallery and much much more.
I really would recommend the Tate Modern as it is a very good attraction which is bound to keep you interested whether just the building, seeing all the famous art, looking at the Temporary exhibitions, going in the cafe and looking over London or just sniggering at modern art! It is also very easy to access and a good day out for anyone. I think everyone should visit at least once just to see what it is all about and I rate the Tate Modern very highly.
Definitely worth visiting at least once!
Thanks for reading!
This review may also appear on other websites under the names ns1209 and mariofan123.
For me, the Tate Modern is the most exciting and innovative art space in London. The imposing and immense dimensions of both the inside and outside areas are usually only seen in Europe or the US, and its sexy metal and glass design is a perfect setting for the controversial works of art that it holds.
The Tate Modern is housed in the former Bankside Power Station. Designed by Giles Gilbert Scott (the man responsible for Liverpool Cathedral and the iconic British red telephone box) the building was only saved from demolition in the 1980s by the campaigning of an enthusiastic group of supporters. The new owners, the Tate Gallery, selected Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron to be the architects responsible for the transformation of this utilitarian building into a state of the art modern gallery. With its 320 foot chimney, the building has now become a local landmark, standing in all its phallic glory in the newly trendy Bankside - by the Thames and accessed by another symbol of modern engineering; the Millennium Bridge.
The 7 levels of the Tate house both permanent collections and temporary exhibitions of modern and contemporary art from 1900 onwards. Although many people choose to avoid the sometimes confusing messages of modern art, there are enough "greats" housed in the Tate Modern to keep most visitors interested, as well as a shop stocked with an extensive art and photography book collection as well as jewellery and other artistic collectables. I always enjoy just riding up to the top floor on the escalators, looking down on the Turbine Gallery through the enormous glass wall that runs from floor to ceiling, and enjoying the ambience and excitement of the place as the various galleries pass me by.
There are several entrances into the Tate, but my favourite, and the most spectacular is the walk through the enormous doors and down the sloping ramp to the Turbine Hall. I never fail to feel a frisson of excitement as I walk down the grey sloping ramp, into the echoing 5 story high area with its 3,400 square metres of floor space. The Hall once housed the power station's electricity generators, and is now used to display the most amazingly large works of art. Sponsored by Unilever, these exhibitions are called the Unilever Series, and are all free of charge. If you want to get younger children interested in modern art, this is the way to start! I have seen every Unilever commission, but the most outstanding was 'The Weather Project' by Olafur Eliasson - a giant orange sun at the end of the 600 foot long space, surrounded by gently moving mist. Mirrors placed on the ceiling high above meant that every visitor felt compelled to lay down on the cool polished floor and look upwards through the beautiful red mist. Other notable exhibitions were 'Shibboleth'- a jagged crack that ran the length of the hall like an earthquake fissure; the three frighteningly steep tubular slides installed by Carsten Höller, who wanted to explore art through the act of watching people slide down; and 'Maman' - the 35 foot high giant spider of Louise Bourgeois. Currently the artist Miroslaw Balka is testing my inner fears with a huge dark box which allows you to walk into complete darkness and experience total blindness for a short moment until you bash your nose against the black felt wall at the back.
Levels 2 and 4 are home to temporary exhibitions, and the tickets for these are usually fairly expensive. Levels 3 and 5 are free to get into, and have their art grouped into themes rather than dates or artists. On the third level, the Material Gestures gallery houses abstract and expressionist art, and you will find some familiar works by Picasso, Money and Matisse. Opposite this, the Poetry and Dream gallery focuses on surrealism. Level 5 houses three galleries; States of Flux includes Cubism, Futurism and Vorticism; No Ghost Just a Shell, holds Manga art; and Energy and Process holds a lot of sculpture, mainly of the industrial type that opponents of modern art love to ridicule (eg piles of bricks).
If modern art is not your primary interest, a short trip to the top floor to admire the spectacular views across the Thames to St Paul's Cathedral can occupy an hour or two, even if you don't take in any art on the way! The 7th (and top) level of the building houses the restaurant and bar. Although the restaurant is not cheap, they do allow children to eat free of charge with an adult eating a main course - and the food is of very good quality. The 7th floor bar is a very popular way to watch the sun go down over London - and when dusk arrives, the customers jostle each other to sit at the long bar that runs along the length of the window, and drink wine or coffee as the sun sets over St Paul's.
A visit to the Tate Modern should be on every visitor's itinerary, even if it is only for a quick stopover to look at the majestic space, the design and the views. If visiting the galleries or exhibitions with children, it may be wise to check out the artists first, depending on your attitudes to nudity and masturbation. Some of the video installations leave very little to the imagination. The current temporary exhibition on level 4 is called Pop Art, and includes work by Jeff Koons - an artist who photographed what many people would label as hard core porn.
If you are wondering about the "mystery floor" - level 6 is for members only. For around £50 a year, you can have access to a large room and an outdoor terrace to drink coffee or wine, and to meet friends. You will also get free access to all the temporary exhibitions.
The Tate Modern is fully accessible to the disabled; lifts are available for all levels as well as escalators. A staircase also leads to all levels. The staircase is rarely used, but has a lovely design touch which should be seen. Made of mellow wood, the staircase has a recessed handrail with hidden lighting, making the whole experience rather mysterious - and my preferred way of getting to the top.
There are many ways of reaching the Tate Modern. As it is right on the river, it often seems appropriate to get there by boat; the 'Tate2Tate' (an arty passenger boat painted with multicoloured spots) runs between the Tate Modern and Tate Britain every 10 minutes. There is also a normal ferry service from Embankment or Festival Pier.
The nearest underground stations are either St Paul's or Southwark. The nearest mainline station is Blackfriars. I would recommend St Paul's for a lovely approach to the Tate as you cross the Millennium Bridge, or Blackfriars for an equally lovely short walk along the river.
If you are looking for something to do free in London then one of the options open to you is the Tate Modern and as it is inside it is a great choice in the winter.
It is located on the south side of the Thames, if you get off at St Pauls tube station then it is a short walk down gto the Millenium Bridge which is a great way to approach the art gallery however you can also use Southwark or Blackfriars tube stations as well. Using the bridge gives you an excellent view of the former power station.
It is free to enter however there are a number of contribution points with suggestions for those who want to donate, entering via the massive Turbine Hall is my favourite way to go in as the exhibits in here change and are usually a single large piece of art that by its nature is interactive, the current piece is an experience of sensory depravation as you walk into a large box in total darkness.
In all there are seven levels to the Tate Modern and most of the galleries are free however they do have special exhibitions and for these you do have to buy a ticket however there is plenty of good stuff to see without spending a penny and walking around the various galleries is a real journey of dioscovery with some great works of art and others that I just do not get.
There is work on show from Picasso, Rousseau, Dali and Warhiol to name but a few and also one of my favourites Gilbert and George who do some col work. Thereare lots of mixed media works and small viewoing areas and the place is good for children as there are lots of interactive displays and you can sit down and doyour own drawing if you want. As well as paintings there are plenty of sculptures to look at and some very large pieces of work.
If you are hungry there is a restaurant and a couple of cafes however these area bit on the expensive side. The toilets are nice and clean and can be found on very floor.
It is a top place to visit and the exhibits change around on a fairly regular basis so repeat visits are always enjoyable.
Recently, My husband and I took advantage of a free work excursion for a free day trip to London. We were dropped off at the London Eye (Waterloo station area) and our first port of call was going to be Tate Modern as we had worked out that was the closest of all the attractions we wanted to see from where we were dropped off. I had seen there is a POP Art exhibition on and I have always wanted to see the Jeff Koons Rabbit sculpture, so I was adamant we had to get to the Tate Modern to see it.
We bought a tube ticket and attempted to take the Jubilee line from Waterloo to Southwark station for the Tate Modern. We were duly informed by a tube announcement the ENTIRE Jubilee line was closed for the day (Saturday).
Having little knowledge of London (with hindsight we should have bought a map and a compass), we couldn't immediately think of how else to get from Waterloo to Southwark so decided to walk along the Thames Path from the London Eye. Part way along the walk we found a sign saying it is an 18mins walk from the London Eye to the Tate Modern (but gave us no indication of the correct direction- the Tate Modern on the diagram was to our right, we were walking in that direction, so we continued to walk).
An HOUR later... we found ourselves at BATTERSEA Power station- which we had assumed was the Tate Modern as the building looks kind of the same (ie an old power station). Exhausted after walking about 3 miles by this time and wondering why there were no people around... and growingly increasingly lost... we eventually saw a bus and realising we had spent an hour walking in the wrong direction, we took the bus to Southwark to try again to get to the Tate Modern.
Getting off the Bus at Southwark (we took the Liverpool Street bus from Battersea), we spotted a sign pointing towards the Tate Modern. So we followed it.... and found we were at the Tate Modern, but could not find the way in. We had walked towards the gallery and were at the back of the building- we found the Staff entrance then some contractors and building works and were a little frazzled and exhausted (by this point it was 2 hours after we had started trying to get to the Tate Modern). At the point of crying and giving up, we eventually found the entrance and walked into the spectacular Turbine Hall. In hindsight (after finding the front of the building by the Thames we did laugh at our earlier issues finding the way in as the entrance is HUGE and the gallery by the Thames has "Way In" all over it!).
As soon as you walk in, you find yourself inside a huge empty hall which seems to go up forever- the Turbine hall itself is just a sight to behold. Entrance to the Tate Modern and its Art collections is free- you will need tickets for special exhibitions.
We walked past the shop and took an escalator up to Level 3 where the POP Art exhibition is currently showing. The venue was busy, but not too busy. We got there at 2.30pm on Saturday and there was a queue of around 20 people at the Ticket desk just infront of the entrance to the secial exhibition we wanted to see. We queued for our tickets (£11.50 full price, £10 for concessions and job seekers for the exhibition) finding the ticket desk's computer and ticket printer was on the verge of crashing (just another thing after the day we had had so far!) and went in to the 12 roomed special exhibition. The guy on the door took our tickets off us leaving us with no exhibition souvenir-- just something to note if you like keeping your tickets. The tickets had no tear off section indicating to me they take everyone's tickets from them as there is no residual part for you to keep.
There were three rooms in this particular exhibition which were restricted to over 18's and I found you had to either physicaly go through a door with a "Warning for over 18s only" sign or the rooms were well signed with a Gallery Assistant sat on a chair to ensure no children go in to these areas.
Upon leaving the POP Art exhibition, we had a look around the shop on the same level (there was also a cafe section but we did not stop for anything) and decided to explore the rest of the gallery.
There are seven levels in total:
Ground floor: Large gallery shop, ticket desk, cloak rooms, research room, toilets
Level 2: Shop. Cafe, seminar room, small Gallery
Level 3: 20 rooms of free to look around gallery: currently: "Poetry & Dream" (De Chirico, Surrealism and Beyond, Francis Bacon, Picasso, Beuys, Realisms, Cornelia Parker etc). And "Material Gestures" (Francis Bacon, Anish Kapoor, Viennese Actionism, Expressionism, Gerhard Richter, Monet, Abstract Expressionism, Jackson Pollock...)
Level 4: Special Exhibitions (ie POP Art £11.50/£10 tickets)
Level 5: 23 rooms of free to look around gallery: currently showing "States of Flux" (Marcel Duchamp, Cubism, Futurism, Vorticism, Cubist Drawing, Paolozzi, POP, Jeff Koons, Warhol, Ed Ruscha) and "Energy and Process" (Richard Serra, Anselm Kiefer, Ana Mendieta, Landscape and Action etc).
Level 6: Members Room
Level 7: Cafe, Bar and "East Room" (this could be a members only room).
There are excalators, stairs and lifts for accessibility, there are toilets on all levels for visitors - the toilets are free to use.
We rushed around the gallery as we only had one afternoon in London and wanted to see the POP Art exhibition at the Tate Modern and visit some other major galleries, so we limited our time at the Tate Modern but could have EASILY spent all day there. People often say you could spend all day somewhere, but really- even if you have little knowledge of Art, there are artworks at the Tate Modern you will have seen on TV or on cards- there are several Picasso's, a Monet, a few Jackson Pollock pieces, there are pieces by Andy Warhol etc
There were a lot of people at the Gallery, but it catered well for a lot of visitors and there is plenty for everyone to do so not everyone there is trying to see the same thing at once or is in the same place at the same time- for example we saw several areas specifically designed for children with activities and colouring/ drawing materials.
There are lots of educational resources on site- on the ground floor there is a room where you can go in and read books about the artists featured and find out things. We saw people sat on the in the gallery rooms with watercolours actually painting or drawing. The Gallery caters for all ages and I did not see a single bored looking child- everyone seemed to be occupied with a work book or a notepad. There are free trails and guided tours and talks you can get involved with.
As with all Art Galleries- Photography is not allowed, Smoking and eating and drinks are not allowed in the gallery rooms and mobile phones are not allowed for the benefit of other guests.
There were a handful of people I saw taking photos with flash photograhy and one man in particular with a massive camera around his neck with loads of lenses looked dumbstruck when the Gallery attendants said "No photography please", totally ignored them and kept snapping away. I thought it was common knowledge photography is not allowed in galleries.... That was annoying as the man taking the photos was disturbing the other visitors with the bright flashes and the gallery attendants having to keep shouting "No Photography" broke the calm silence of people having a nice day walking around a gallery. If I had worked there, I would have taken the guy's camera off him. You can buy postcards of all the major exhibits in the shop priced at 60p.
Tate Boat: runs every 40 mins between Tate Modern and Tate Britain.
We tried to get to Southwark tube station but the jubilee line was closed.
You can also catch a bus to Southwark.
We learned the next time we visit London we really need a street map as well as a tube map.
The gallery is easily accessed directly across the Millenium Bridge from St Paul's Cathedral.
Sun- Thurs: 10am to 6pm.
Fri and Sat: 10am to 10pm
The gallery is open every day except 24, 25 and 26 December.
The Tate Shops (three in total) open 10am to 6pm daily.
More information can be obtained from:
www.tate.co.uk : there is a ink tab for the Tate Modern.
The information given above re the artists on show is valid up to January 2010.
I would recommend visiting the Tate Modern to anyone of any age irrespective of whether of not you like what you consider to be "Modern Art". It is not a room filled with pieces like you see on the News for the Turner Prize. It is a fantastic gallery with an amazing collection. I would never have exected to see a Monet or so many Picasso's there. Definitely worth going to!
The Tate Modern is easily accessible along the Southbank of the Thames. Directly in front is the 'Wobbly' Bridge and St Paul's Cathedral. It's a wonderful location. The building is an ex-power station and the turbine hall is immense, allowing for works that would not normally fit into a gallery. There are 5 floors of art pieces, with some areas sectioned off for fee-paying installations. I pop in quite regularly as I live in the area just to see what is on. However, I must say, the curators appear to have focussed a lot on size and scale, rather than quality. There are some nice pieces by Mondrian, Dali, Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhole, but after that the pieces become a bit too avante garde for a normal Joe such as myself. For example, whilst pottering through there was a rope around what looked like a paint brush, some tins and sacking. I wasn't sure if it was an installation or renovation works were on the go. Perhaps if I was an art student or such I may appreciate it more.
The Tate modern is a free art gallery displaying modern paintings, drawings, sculptures and other items. The displays are frequently changing so a visit once a year is not out the question.
Right on the banks of the Themes next to the millenium bridge. Take the tube - do not try to park!
When entering the Tate Modern you cannot fail to be impressed with the magnificent building which houses the art work (i was probably more impressed with this than the art!)
The building was very easy to navigate with every exibition clearly signposted.
I spent around 3hours here - there really is loads to see. After around an hour we decided to take a coffee break. The coffee shop is on the top floor (easily reachable via the lift) and has spectacular views over london. We must have spent almost an hour in here looking over london and the themes. It isnt cheap but then you dont expect it to be for the location. Quality is around average but quite acceptable.
I wasnt blown away with the art (i thought most of it was a load of rubbish) but enjoyed the experience anyway. I would go back but probably not for a few years.
This review is a warning to anyone considering visiting the Mark Rothco exhibition currently at the Tate Modern.
For anyone in the capital, a visit to Tate Modern will be well worth it. It takes you into a fantastic part of the city. The Millenium Bridge is a tremendous structure with wonderful views of the city. It is free to get into Tate Modern and view most of the exhibitions. The Surrealist Gallery is superb. Plus the coffee is reasonably priced, though a bit weak.
Unfortunately, at our last visit, we queued to pay the 12pound 50p per person (though children were free) to see the Mark Rothco exhibition. Many children are studying this artist at school. Even more that most artists, his work needs to be contemplated. It is very large in scale, and appears initially to be simplistic.
Unfortunately, despite entry and viewing times being regulated by EXPENSIVE tickets, the Rothco gallery was absolutely packed. It was impossible to look at a piece of work without being jostled or people walking in front of you. They weren't being rude. It was just that the gallery was overcrowded. The Tate had sold too many tickets to permit appropriate viewing conditions.
My husband spoke to the ticket sellers, who agreed to provide complimentary tickets for another viewing, but said it was not their policy to provide a refund. It is unlikely we will be back in London in time to use the tickets, so we have given them to friends. I am sure if they use them, they will enjoy the exhibition, provided they go on a quiet day.
And that is the message of my view - if you like Rothco, this is an excelllent exhibition and anyway, Tate Modern is well worth a visit. But ensure for yourself that you go on a quiet day, otherwise it is a complete waste of money.
The Tate Modern is housed in the former Bankside power station, (the building has to be seen to be believed), and was built during the Millennium year. Since that point it has developed into one of London's most sought after attractions. The artworks are spread over 100,000 square feet and are based around a massive turbine hall that serves as the building's entrance, a most spectacular sight!
Access to the gallery is provided by two tube stations, London Bridge & Blackfriars, and I took the former route which involves a pleasant ten minute walk along the bank of the river and I combined it with a quick trip across the London Bridge for a truly stunning view of Tower Bridge, shimmering in the haze in the distance. The gallery is also served by numerous bus routes, so there really is no excuse for missing this magnificent attraction. The gallery is open Sunday to Thursday from 10am until 6pm and from 10am to 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and with the exception of two temporary exhibitions (which frequently change) the gallery is free! The Tate Modern has also ensured that the building is fully accessible to wheelchairs and pushchairs and leaflets regarding access information can be found at all the Information Desks.
The mammoth space afforded by the former power station is bedecked with art from the 19th century right through to the present day. There is a lot to see, but it is important not to be put off by the sheer volume of works, and if you plan to see the entire collection I would recommend setting aside a whole day and splitting the trip into two parts. One of the most important pieces of advice I would give is to get to the gallery as early as possible. I arrived at about 10:15am and the gallery was virtually abandoned but by about 1:00pm the place was heaving with people and I found myself jostling for space around the most famous works. I would recommend taking a break around this time and taking advantage of the vast array of eateries situated along the riverbank near the gallery, avoiding the insane prices charged in the gallery's café and restaurant. Then when you are feeling suitably refreshed you can meander back to the gallery where the crowds will have started to ease and you can fully appreciate the splendid collection of art that this gallery has to offer.
The collection is split into categories under a broad range of themes. Located on Level 3 of this 7 levelled building, Material Gestures, a wing featuring Mark Rothko's Seagram Murals and works by Monet and Jackson Pollock, explores post-war European art and American painting and sculpture, as well as a superb range of expressionist and abstract expressionist work. At the opposite end of this level is a collection of art under the title of Poetry and Dream, and displays artworks devoted to Surrealism and also works that have been influenced by or associated with Surrealist themes, including work by Francis Bacon. States of Flux focuses on Cubism and inevitably houses famous works by Picasso, and this was my favourite wing as I love Cubist art. Surrounding the central area there are many displays of photography and other more modern artworks which were influenced by the Cubist movement, including several works of Pop Art among which the most notable are pieces by Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol . Idea and Object is the final theme and is housed on Level 5 along with States of Flux. This wing features a series of works related to Conceptual Art and Minimalism and houses works by Mondrian and Kandinsky.
When judged as a whole the Tate Modern collection certainly has something that everyone can appreciate and while it has many of those head-scratching sculptures such as Marcel Duchamp's 'Fountain' (a toilet), which you either hate or love, it also has its fair share of more mainstream works from famous names that most adults would recognise. The Tate Modern has developed a reputation as one of London's top attractions and I would find it very hard to disagree. During my visit the hours literally rushed by and it wasn't long before I found my inner art critic, commenting on pieces and pondering what the artist may or may not have tried to portray.
If you still find yourself baffled though, there is always the Multimedia Guide which can be hired for £2 from Levels 1 and 2. This portable computer guide offers additional commentary on the pieces, as wells as videos, still images and games and it is definitely worth the £2. On Level 5 there is also a Learning Zone overlooking turbine hall where you can engage in quizzes and games and watch short films based on the artists featured in the gallery. It is well worth a look, especially for children who seem to love the interactive process and touch screens, but also for adults who want to learn more about the pieces that they have seen. The Gallery also supplies lots of activities to help involve families in the art and to help them understand the pieces on show. Children can pick up free activity sheets on which they can create their own masterpieces, and there are also themed routes to follow around the gallery to help get children interested in the collection, called Family Explorer Trails, and they are available from the Information Desks. For £2 the audiotour desk on Level 1 also supplies a special tour aimed at children and is narrated by the children's writer Michael Rosen. The gallery also has three shops, the biggest of which is located on the ground floor and stocks books, artwork prints and various other things, including t-shirts, mugs and art postcards. I would certainly recommend taking a look at the end of your visit, and the prices are reasonable.
The Tate Modern is most definitely a five star attraction for all ages, and I can almost guarantee that nobody would go away from this place having not enjoyed themselves. To me there seems to be something primeval about the appreciation of art and it is something which everybody can enjoy. And one last tip - make sure you take the time to climb to the top of the building (Level 7) for some breathtaking views of London, including St. Paul's and the Millennium bridge. All in all, the Tate Modern is not to be missed.
For information regarding temporary exhibitions and a preview of the collection visit - www.tate.org.uk.
For most people the words Modern Art conjure up images of the Turner Prize and the messed up bedding of Tracey Emin which is a shame because the Turner Prize is hardly a good representation of what modern art can offer. As a slight aside what Emin piece of work did actually facilitate was two Japanese performance artists who decided to have a pillow fight on the bed, I could not help but appreciate their style.
I have always enjoyed visiting art shows and have even bought a couple of paintings in my time, there is something pleasing about buying an original painting and hanging it on your walls, it does not have to appreciate in value to give pleasure and a god piece of work will form a centre piece to any living space whilst at the same time blending in to the surroundings. The Tate Modern is one of those places I have always wanted to visit and finding myself in London with an afternoon to spare last week presented an ideal opportunity to check it out.
Located on the south bank of the Thames a number of underground stations are within a comfortable walk from the Tate with Southwark and Blackfriars the closest however in my opinion the best method of arrival is to get on the Central Line and get off at St Pauls and then you are able to walk across the Millennium Bridge. This provides a wonderful view of the former power station and the return journey is just as pleasant as you approach St Pauls even if at present the frontage is a cardboard representation hiding a bank of scaffolding.
There are three entry points to the Tate Modern with the main entry proving direct access to the huge Turbine Hall which houses an area given over to large pieces of work. At present there is a large construction of what looks like huge white sugar lumps by Rachel Whiteread built into large blocs and a misshapen pyramid which you can walk amongst. It is called Embankment and is actually made from the casts of cardboard boxes and is all in white. As you rise up to higher floors there are some great views looking down onto this piece of work which is when you get to appreciate the scale of the piece however it was certainly not the most impressive piece that I saw on my visit in my opinion...
In all there are 7 Levels to the Tate Modern served by a bank of lifts and an escalator as well as normal stairs. There are additional entry points which will bring you in on Level 2 which includes the River Entrance which you will use if you cross the Millennium Bridge.
Entry is free however there are polite signs suggesting a £3 contribution towards the upkeep of the gallery and there is a fee to pay for entry into the special Exhibitions on Level 4.
Level 3 and 5 are the home to the Collection displays and the ones that are free to view. On Level 4 there are two exhibitions for which you will have to purchase tickets however I cannot comment on either of these as I did not have enough time to visit them. The exhibitions change frequently and currently there is a Henri Rousseau and a Jeff Wall exhibition to see.
If you have limited time my recommendation is to head straight for Level 5 as this had some of my favorite pieces and also was less crowded. In particular the History/Memory/Society galleries were very interesting with a large display of posters that glorified the Russian Revolution and were used as a propaganda tool throughout the post revolution years, the Second World War and the cold war period.
In another of the galleries there were some very moving pieces that charted the impact of war on different continents, some of these were very large graphic pieces that covered a complete wall of the gallery they were in and they contained a huge amount of detail. There are also a couple of pieces by Picasso and Warhol in these galleries which were the only names that I recognized.
As with all of the galleries there is a good mix of different media being used in all of the displays, as well as the various forms of painting on canvas there are sculptures, visual arts and the use of sound, some of these work very well and some will sail right over your head and in a couple I had to stifle a snigger as they seemed to typify the sort of work that always raises the comment of My 6 year old could draw better than that.
Also on Level 5 are the Nude/Action/Body galleries. Now because of the title these will inevitably attract the school children looking for some cheap thrills who will soon become disappointed and indeed a bit horrified at some of the pictures. It was this section though that got the biggest wow from me and was due to a group of paintings by Gilbert and George who I discovered are based in the East End of London. Four huge images that depict Death, Hope, Life and Fear and upon entering the gallery I found my head spinning trying to take everything in on the four walls. You will also find works by Matisse and Beuys in this gallery.
Level 3 was a lot more crowded on the day of my visit in the main because this seemed to be where school groups gathered and would huddle around individual paintings or sculptures drawing madly away or listening to one of the guides give a talk. On this level you will find Surrealism works including a Dali and a lot more interesting pieces of sculpture in particular some quite large pieces of work which really dominate the galleries that they are placed in. For those who like to scoff there is a display of what looks like household waste and to be honest it is not a very good bit of art as the whole display is surrounded by cut outs of American soldiers but it is the sort of thing that would get children interested because there is so much going on.
On this level you will also find work by Henri Moore, Matisse and Jackson Pollock to name but a few.
Regarding the remaining levels, the 7th is home to a restaurant while the 6th is for Tate Members only. Level 2 hosts the Café and one of the gift shops with a larger gift shop on Level 1 in the Turbine Hall.
There are a range of options to suit your individual taste and budget and one of the good things to remember when spending your money is that all of the facilities are run by the Tate so any profits go towards the funding of the Gallery.
Both the restaurant and the café provide table service and a range of hot and cold meals however I headed for the espresso bar on Level 4 where a sandwich and drink will set you back about £6 however although the sandwich was pre wrapped it had been made fresh that day as the wholemeal break was very moist and tasty and it was pretty good value. The main reason for visiting the espresso bar on Level 4 was the great view it affords over the Thames with the dome of St Pauls in full view. In the summer there is a terrace that you can sit out on but in mid winter it was a bit cold for that.
All of the galleries and levels are designed to provide easy access. For those who have difficulty with slopes you may be better entering from either the River Entrance of the Café Entrance which brings you in on level 2 as the slope into the Turbine Hall through the main entrance is quite long.
There are a number of lifts that run up the centre of the building and there are toilets located in the centre of each floor which are well equipped and set out.
All of the galleries are on a level area and provide plenty of space to move around in.
What I liked
I have already mentioned some of the exhibits that I particularly liked but I also liked the design of the gallery. All of the rooms are large and it is easy to navigate around the displays with very little need to walk through the same area twice.
All of the pieces are well set out with enough space around them and the whole feel of the building is that it has been designed to compliment the art it contains.
Whilst walking from room to room there is a constant feeling of discovery and I particularly liked the fact that the height of the rooms varied and you could walk into a room with a large piece of sculpture reaching to the ceiling or even one hanging from it.
There has also been good use of the location of the site, as well as the view of the Thames from the espresso bar there are a number of quiet reading spots that provide either an outward view of the Thames or an inward one of the Turbine Hall.
This is a great place to visit if you have a couple of hours to explore and I would consider bringing my children to visit as there is enough variation in the work to keep them interested and there are a few touch screen facilities providing information on the displays for them to explore.
The opening hours of the Tate Modern are 10.00 till 18.00 Sunday to Thursday and 10.00 till 22.00 Friday and Saturdays. There are free guided tours available the first of which starts at 11.00 on Level 5.
Group visits can be booked in advance and you can also pick up an audio tour if you want to walk around with a phone stuck to your ear.
Like I said entry is free however a donation is suggested and in my mind it was £3 well spent. It was a great day out only ruined by the live performance I observed that evening at Highbury which included a disappearing act by our centre half and a failed improv act by four blokes pretending to be a defense.
For more information check out the excellent website where you can take a virtual tour and even print off the menu for the restaurant.
Thanks for reading and rating my review however comments about the Turner prize are banned and failure to comply will suggest to me that you have not read the review.
The building of the Tate Modern was a truly incredible project. Strictly speaking not built from scratch but rejuvenated from the gutted shell of the Bankside power station. The Tate Modern is part of a larger regeneration scheme going on, on the south bank and is the flagship project from that area. The Bankside building is relatively unremarkable from the outside, a very Modernist structure built for function rather than aesthetic beauty, though I think it has a minimal elegance, a functional and economical simplicity of design which makes it an Icon of a previous industrial age, and an excellent choice for a repository of 20th C and contemporary art. I t was built as a utilitarian building, and though it still has a utilitarian purpose its modernist profile and iconic aesthetic set it apart from its surroundings. An ideal choice for what has been described as a cathedral dedicated to modern art. It is not until you get inside that you appreciate the scale of the building, the cavernous entrance hall is what used to be the turbine hall for the huge electricity generators, and is a truly unique space which is also used to house large installations as well as allow an impressive and rather grand entrance to the thousands of visitors who pass through its doors every week. There is something rather wearing about modernism, The minimal modernist thing has been done to death, this building gets away with it, because it is a period piece, a genuine article and amongst the best of its time. The interior has been slightly slavish to the modernist cliche of Minimalism, particularly the entrance hall, which is simply vast cavernous and empty. But what can you do with a space like that, to change it would be to destroy it. I think you have to accept the somewhat cliched minimal modernist interior of the building because it is very much in keeping with the building, and it is not the building which is on show really it is the contents. I just think that more could have been do
ne with this vast space without spoiling it and without detracting from its purpose. The Tate is only a mile away from St.Pauls cathedral which is linked to the Tate via the millennium bridge, handy if you want to see all three. It is interesting to know that when the Power station was built that it was only allowed to be 99 meters tall so that it would not rival the huge dome of St. Pauls cathedral. It was also built to be part of the regeneration of London on the south bank of the river after the Blitz, so here it is being regenerated again as part of the south bank regeneration scheme in that particular area. This so called cathedral of the Industrial age was not allowed to challenge the iconic power of the old world. Now it has been re incarnated again as a cathedral of modern art. Other regeneration projects in the area include the Oxo tower, Oxo tower wharf, and Gabriel Wharf buildings, these have been converted into contemporary studios for contemporary designer/makers, producing fine and applied arts. When you have finished at the Tate maybe it worth a short walk down the riverbank to see some contemporary artists work and at work, all of the work produced at the Oxo tower and Gabriel wharf site is made and sold on site. Coming inside the building the starting point for any visit is the information booths situated at the centre of the turbine hall. If your knowledge of 20th Century art history is a little rusty or a little sketchy then you may be interested to know that there is a free audio guide for any one who wants to borrow one. This is basically an outsize mobile phone which has a recorded commentary, provided by the gallery staff giving interesting insights into the paintings and work of selected artists throughout the gallery. Very handy if you are not up on your art history, and if you would prefer to go round on your own rather than herded round on one of the cattle drives accompanied by a harassed gallery guide tr
ying to explain the history of the 20th C western canon in about 20 minutes, whilst jostling their crew through a disparate tide of gallery visitors all going in the other direction. Having said that I have been round on a guided tour, not something I normally like doing and if you have the time you will probably learn more than if you are just aimlessly grazing, you also get to ask questions and interact with a whole group of people which can be better if you are there on your own. The permanent exhibition galleries are free to enter and you can stay all day, the only exhibitions you will be charged for are the special exhibitions which can be expensive, and you are limited to a time and how long you can stay. I went to the Matisse/Picasso exhibition in 2002, and I think I was charged £10 pound for the privilege, I only had a set time period, a couple of hours I think, and then I had to leave. I also nearly got thrown out of the exhibition for taking photographs, so either get permission before you go, or don?t get caught. I had a great shot all lined up and some loud mouth Yank hollered at the top of his voice ?gee honey see that, I bet that would make a great picture? so every body could hear him, at which point I was accosted by several gallery warders telling me what a naughty boy I was, and not to do it again. Luckily I did not have my film confiscated which I think they will if they think you have got any illicit pictures, so be warned, they are pretty hot on that kind of thing. It?s the kind of unpleasantness that could spoil your visit, if you are unsuspecting. Needless to say I felt like a criminal for the rest of the day. There are also lectures and seminars which you can attend if you take the trouble to check the listings before you go I think it is much more worthwhile, you feel like you have had a bit of extra, that most of the mob have not, a bit of inside information, rather than just aimlessly trolling round looking at the
pictures, you feel more a part of it. Last month there was a free lecture ?Warhol? and this month is was ?Utopia?. If you go to the Tate Modern web site you can find out when the free guided tours are, there are about six a day. There are also a variety of courses, workshops, talks and discussions, events, music, film, performance, tours, seminars, tours and group activities, its no use me listing them all here you need to go to the web site and see what is going on, www.tate.org.uk/modern The Tate Modern has a rather unusual policy when it comes to hanging their collection. Rather than hanging it in chronological order, the works are hung in a way in that they relate to each other on a subjective basis. In other words they are grouped by subject matter so that you can see how different artists have tackled the same subject. It is less laborious than wading through the whole 20th C canon from start to finish in order to make some sense of it. If you are like me and you like to read a book by starting in the middle, then the start and then the end you know what I mean. There are four major themes in which the works are exhibited; History/Memory/Society, Landscape/Matter/Environment, Nude/Action/Body, Still life/Object/Real life. I think this is a very creative and imaginative way of using the works, I can?t stand the interminable chronological history books laid out by the other major collections, ie the Victoria & Albert, the National Gallery, The National Portrait Gallery, the Tate Britain etc. I think the Tate modern can hold its head up against any of these. You can learn a lot more by comparing several artists at once and how they have interpreted the same subject matter, in small doses, than having to digest the whole 20th C canon all at once before you get the bigger picture. I think it is an inspired approach, and particularly as they have some of the most important works of the 20th century, by some of the most revered and proli
fic artists of the 20th C they have a duty to present them in the most effective way possible each possible. Each of the main floors has one of the themes so each time you arrive on a different floor you know you have arrived at a new theme. There is a central escalator which connects all the floors and a staircase, and an elevator so you take your pick. Disabled access is available to all floors, to my knowledge. There is a large merchandising machine at the Tate Modern and it is difficult not to get drawn into it. Where as gallery merchandising used to be very low key, a few postcards perhaps and some gallery guides, these days it is big business, very much part of the gallery experience. There are some very pricy items for sale, mostly amongst the books which can easily cost £100. There are two extensive bookshops at the Tate modern one of which is a specific bookshop and the other more a general store. I don?t know about you but I don?t go to a gallery to spend that kind of money and almost without exception are amazed to see the amount of money some people are spending. Fair enough the Tate has a role as a specialist supplier of art books and why not, there is no better place I suppose, but sometimes I think they are pitching at the average tourist as well which I find a bit incongruous. There is also the usual plethora of nonsense, yer keyrings, pens and stuff, personally I don?t see why people have the need for these souvenirs, every where they go but I suppose some people must like it. The one cheap souvenir that is worthwhile at galleries like this is the postcards of the collection which most people can afford have some value, the Tates collection is comprehensively reproduced on postcards and if you want a cheap souvenir I would go for these every time. There are two eating places inside the building a café sort of a place and a more upmarket restaurant. I have to confess I have not been in the restaurant it was just too expensive
, not for your avera ge day tripper. The coffee bar was a bit more affordable, but I was by no means cheap, about usual for London prices on coffee and tea etc, and a range of over priced sandwiches and muffins. There were plenty of people buying them so maybe I am just a bit of a stingy git. It was also too small there were more people buying stuff than could sit down, which I find unacceptable, they have been open long enough to know how many people come through their doors, and what kind of seating capacity they need. I ended up being edged out into the outdoor seating area on the balcony, in a howling gale with the other unlucky punters, not daring to move , in case a scrum descended upon me for my chair, thinking I was leaving. Just a minor grumble, but it?s a bit of a detail that could easily be sorted out if some one could be bothered .Apart from that, unless you are flush, take your sandwiches with you, and you should be ok. There is also a little sandwich van which hangs around outside the main entrance Also when you arrive at the Tate and have got your free audio guide, and tickets and what ever, dump all your baggage and stuff at the cloakroom, this is one place where you not want to yomping round with a ton of stuff you are not going to need. It just gets too packed, and you will be mad as hell after an hour fighting your way through the crowds you get here, with an overcoat on one arm a rucksack over the other shoulder, a guide book in one hand and an audio guide in the other. I know it sounds obvious but I?ve done it myself. I only mention this because although the cloakroom is free you need to deposit something with them like a drivers licence or something with you?re ID on it with you My advice to any one visiting London and wants to visit the Tate modern, and in my opinion it must be high on the list of tourist attractions, is to find out what is on first, and plan your visit to a particular day, with specific events you want t
o go to. This could be a lecture or a seminar on a particular point of interest. I know this sounds boring but it need only take half an hour or so and you will feel much more part of it and knowledgeable, it will make the rest of the visit that much more relevant. It is something I have only done myself in the last couple of years. Secondly try and organise your visit around some kind of special exhibition, especially if you have been before, there is nothing worse than traipsing round the same stuff again and again if you have been recently. The last time I went it was to the Matisse/Picasso exhibition, very special, this exhibition then went on to Paris, and New York, it was a very impressive and unique experienced and something which does not happen every other week. The pictures had been assembled from collections all over the world for a limited period, and would be dispersed again when the exhibition tour was over. Try and plan your visit to take in an exhibition like this, it makes it so much more worthwhile than just the permanent exhibitions, which are magnificent in themselves, make no mistake, but it was well worth the extra £10 it cost me for this one.The current special exhibitions are Donald Judd, 5 Feb.-25 April 2004, and Constantin Brancusi 29 Jan-23 May2004.
Visiting London recently we strolled along the Thames ? really to view illusionist David Blane suspended above the river. As we made our way along the calm river on the very sunny and very hot day, we came across a building with a ?Bertie Bassett? type inflatable model outside. Totally black the inflatable model was almost as tall as the 7 floored building behind it ? the Tate modern. I?m not the type of person who is usually attracted to art museums, but as we spied the single word that changed my mind ? ?FREE? the decision was made to go and see it on the way back. After seeing Mr Blane in his Perspex box now hanging away from the Thames, surrounded by a fence with TV cameras from SKY TV. Walking back along the Thames, we hit the same sights we had viewed on the way up, and soon find the huge inflatable model ? which indicated our chance for a cup of tea and well earned rest for my wife who?d been pushing me in my wheelchair. A little about the Tate modern building: The building is an old power station which was designed by Giles Gilbert who also designed the Liverpool Anglican cathedral and the humble red telephone box. The central tower is some 325 feet tall, which is shorter than St Paul?s dome ? opposite. You can get from the Tate modern to St Paul?s by the millennium bridge. My own opinion: it was black floor tiled with lighter; with the added height on each floor it gave the feeling of space. One side of the building had windows leading to vies of the Thames and St Paul?s, while the other side was blackened out living the building slightly dull. As I have said entry was FREE, though they do like you to pay a £2 donation. Of the seven floors only five are taken up with art and exhibitions, the other is for members only and the top floor is a café/restaurant. Each floor has its own displays, though I was particularly drawn to the level five ? Nudes. I imagined all sorts of nude ladies in variou
s poses, like a school boy reading his first dirty magazine. Finally there they were ? Victorian paintings of naked ladies, Sculptures of what I assume were people intertwined, and some strange images on several TV?s. One showed a man naked hitting himself with the boxing gloves on his hands, while he jumped up and down showing his bouncing manhood. Another saw a fat man (no not me honest) just standing naked on the side so we could spy his rather large tummy. Two more TVs were taken up by a man and a woman (separate) shouting. There is several little ?cinema? type areas where you can sit and be entertained for example ? a woman cutting up and eating a sausage, or an oriental lady holding a crystal ball and moving around. Nudes done, we visited the other floors of this large building. Each had a floor of entertainment (if that?s what it can be called). A picture of two coloured boxes, another with paint splashed on a piece of canvas, and even more boxes. In need of a rest we headed for the top floor, in need of the well earned cuppa tea. Feeling peckish (our meal at the Royal festival hall was far from filling or enjoying) we both chose a portion of chips. I had a cup of tea, while my shattered wife opted for what we thought we a small bottle of chardonnay. In reality the price had been for a glass. Prices were extremely expensive though the chips were piping hot and everything was clean. You did get a nice panoramic view from the window of St Paul?s etc which is directly opposite the Tate modern. However when I think of what I paid: £2.50 per breakfast bowl of chips, £5.20 for a GLASS of wine and £1.80 for a cup of tea, I am sure it was a rip off even by London standards. What did I think? Overall I was glad I visited the Tate Modern ? it was an experience, however knowing what I know now I certainly would not have paid an entrance fee. Most of the displays could have been done by a child, or even dogs come to
that! I had a real problem with the fact that they were paying money to display this load of rubbish here. I was certainly ripped off in the café and now know not to go there again. Don?t get me wrong some of the displays were excellent, and some real effort had obviously gone into them-that?s art isn?t it? You are not allowed to eat, drink, smoke, take photographs, or use mobile phones in the T M. Membership of T M is £61 for you and a guest for which you get some extra benefits like free subscription to Tate magazine, and access to member areas. ~Disabled access~ Disabled access is generally very good in the T M. I had absolutely no problems getting around. There are lifts to every floor, along with escalators for the more able bodied. The café at the top floor is also accessible (though maybe not pricewise) Recommend or not? While it is free I would highly recommend you pay a visit, it?s an afternoon spent for nothing, though I would certainly advise you give the café a miss! Thanks for reading ? Dave ~Other info~ Open: Sun-Thurs 10.00-18.00 Fri& Sat 10.00 ? 21.30 Tate modern is located on Bankside SE1 Tel: 020 7887 8000 http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/default.htm
Immediately after its opening Tate Modern became the most visited modern art gallery in the world beating its nearest rivals the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Who are these people? Are dooyooers among them? A first survey revealed the following confessions: "I think I'll stick to Tate Britain, I'm not courageous enough for Tate Modern" (an occasional visitor to London); "Ermh, no, haven't been." (a Londoner); "Didn't know it existed." (a country pumpkin).
Well, it does exist, the Queen declared it open on 11th May, 2000. It has a longer history, though.
Once upon a time there was the Bankside Power Plant on London's South Bank, a brick building of gargantuan dimensions, designed in 1947 and shut down in 1981. Then there was the Tate Gallery on Millbank with more artefacts in the storerooms than in the exhibition halls. The two came together when it was decided to use the Tate Gallery only for British art and call it Tate Britain forthwith and to exhibit international modern art in the transformed former power plant.
The Swiss architects Jaques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron won the competition, they were they only ones who didn't intend to demolish most of the building, but reuse a significant portion of the plant. "This is a kind of Aikido strategy where you use your enemy's energy for your own purposes. Instead of fighting it, you take all the energy and shape it in unexpected and new ways."
They left the 500 ft/152 m long and 115 ft/35m high turbine hall intact as the main entrance hall, kept the taupe walls and black steel girders and put a glass ceiling on top of the building so that all exhibition halls have natural light.
When you walk across the foot bridge from St. Paul's Cathedral across the Thames heading towards it, you understand that it could only be nicknamed Cat
hedral Of Cool. Tate Modern is a statement, it just *IS* and couldn't be otherwise.
Getting off the foot bridge you turn right to get to the main entrance, the turbine hall. No counter and till are waiting for the visitors, the admission is FREE, yoohoo and hooray! At the moment (up to 25th August) some of Henry Moore's Public Sculptures are exhibited at the low end of the slope leading into the building. They're only impressive in their massiveness if you go near, from afar they look like toys.
We arrived around noon and decided to begin with a cup of coffee and a snack in the Café on the 2nd floor, alas, the coffee machine was out of order and we were complimented into the restaurant on the 7th floor. The prices are much higher there, certainly not for students travelling on a shoe string, but you can admire the cityscape from both sides of the building up there and you can take a free copy of the Guardian with you. I did that and so the price for the cappuccino and a sandwich was OK in the end. (I came back to the Café later for refreshment [the coffee machine was working again] which I took on the balcony outside facing the Thames and the City, great view!)
'Modern' art refers to the 20th century, I doesn't make sense to mention the names of the artists whose artefacts you can find here, the rest of the op would be filled, believe me, the great (and not so great) names are all there. The artefacts are displayed neither chronologically nor according to the artists or styles, they're assembled according to themes.
Getting down from the restaurant one passes the 6th floor which is for members only, the 5th floor offers Nude/Action/Body and History/Memory/Society. It has - same as the 4th and 3rd floor - two entrances, but it doesn't matter on which side you begin, the about 30 rooms are all connected so that you pass them all once you've entered.
Each room has a post
er beside the entrance on which an introductory paragraph gives an overall definition of the subject in question, under it the subject is described in more detail. Of course, one can't read all this information, but wherever I did so, I found it very well written and easy to understand. I really can't fathom why someone should need courage to look at the artefacts, they don't do anything to the visitor, they don't suddenly attack them. They're there and it's up to you to go near or to pass by, no work of art will be offended if you do so. Tastes differ, and the next visitor will perhaps be fascinated by just the picture you didn't want to look at or didn't even notice.
The 4th floor is used for Exhibitions for which you have to pay. The current one (up to 7th September) shows photography under the title 'Cruel and Tender'.
The themes on the 3rd floor are: Still Life/Object/Real Life and Landscape/Matter/Environment, again presented in an aesthetically pleasing way with excellent descriptions.
What I can't leave uncommented is the attitude 'I don't like much when it comes to modern art and when I think of what got the Turner Prize I feel sick.'
The Turner Prize can't be equalled with modern art, it would go to far to discuss it here, just forget it for a moment. When you go to Tate Modern you won't see it (if you don't go there during the time when the work in question is exhibited), what you can see are several thousands of artefacts. You don't like much? So what? Then you'll like at least something! Why, I remember exhibitions in which I only liked *one* exhibit, but in case I liked it so much that I integrated it into my imaginary museum, the money wasn't badly spent. And Tate Modern is free!
"I don't understand modern art", is a funny remark and can't be taken serious. It im
plies that you understand traditional art. Indeedy!? Do you know the Bible forward and backward, can you understand all the biblical scenes on Gothic altar pieces? Do you know all the Greek gods you find on Renaissance pictures? Do you know the flowers which are depicted so exquisitely and their symbolic meanings? Ha! You're only used to these pictures more, but you don't understand them better necessarily.
If you're a beginner, interested and eager to widen your horizon, you could take an audio guide (1 GBP) with you. I haven't done so, but my experience with audio guides from other museums is very positive, they're mostly intelligently made.
Or you could just go and enjoy and encounter art works you'll never forget and learn to consider as friends. If I hadn't written so much already I could introduce you to some of my findings, but on second thought why should I? Go there, assemble your own imaginary museum!
Well, have I succeeded in arousing you, Mrs Country Pumpkin, Mr Chicken Art Lover and Miss No-Show?
Tate Modern in London, England is Britain's national museum of international modern art and is, with Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, Tate St Ives, and Tate Online, part of the group now known simply as Tate. The galleries are housed in the former Bankside Power Station, which was originally designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the architect of Battersea Power Station, and built in two stages between 1947 and 1963. The power station closed in 1981. The building was converted by architects Herzog & de Meuron, after which it stood at 99m tall. The southern third of the building was retained by the French power company EDF Energy as an electrical substation (in 2006, the company released half of this holding). Since the museum's opening on 12 May 2000, it has become a very popular destination for Londoners and tourists. Entry to collection displays and some temporary exhibitions is free.