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I don’t know owt about art . . .
Tate Modern (London)
Member Name: gollygumdrops
Tate Modern (London)
Date: 18/09/00, updated on 18/09/00 (119 review reads)
Advantages: Accessible, great collection, great staff, free
Disadvantages: Can get busy, will wear your feet out
. . . but I know what I like!
I wasn’t too excited about going to the Tate Modern. I’ve never been impressed by unmade beds and pickled pigs selling for gazillions, me, I like a good painting! So when I found myself in the City with a choice of hopping on a rush hour train or hanging around for a couple of hours and getting a quieter train back the decision was tougher than it should have been. However, the day was beautiful and London was delightfully quiet as the ‘petrol crisis’ bit. I decided to head for Vinopolis, but I never made it, I followed the stream of people to the Bankside Power Station, and I’m real glad I did.
This is a gallery unlike any other I’ve ever been in. It seems like they actually want people to come in, enjoy the work, find out more and have a good time! All the staff I met were enthusiastic, helpful and friendly. Art for arts sake can be intimidating, and there were some seriously arty folk knocking about, but they certainly didn’t dominate.
Th building is fantastic and gives a real feeling of space and industrial design right in the heart of London. The galleries are laid out in a way that is revolutionary for the art world. There are four:
History, memory and society
Landscape, matter and movement
Nude, action and body
Still life, object and real life.
The idea behind ths has something to do with juxtapositioning, but for a philistine like me it means I don’t have to worry about whether it’s a cubist movement or of the Amsterdam school, I can just decide whether I like certain pieces and what they mean to me.
I enjoyed the ‘View of Britain from the North’, and a wonderful piece that consisted of pallets stacked with rubbish. I have no idea what the artist meant by it, but to me it seemed to be about what we collect through our lives and how little worth it has to others.
I was a little
baffled by things like Dalis Lobster Telephone, and I found a piece consisting of balaclavas really rather disturbing and frightening. My favourite work was one that had someone described it to me I’d have said ‘that’s pants’, but I’ll have a go. The artists came to the building during its construction and watched the builders at work. They then came back and reconstructed a scene like a room being decorated, with all the builders detritus around. All of this is carefully carved and painted so it looks like a regular room being decorated. It is wonderful.
Do visit the Tate Modern. It is the most accessible and enlightening display of modern art I’ve ever seen.
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