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I hate modern art
Tate Modern (London)
Member Name: Walli10
Tate Modern (London)
Date: 04/05/01, updated on 14/05/01 (92 review reads)
Advantages: Free, Brilliant
Disadvantages: A wee bit difficult to get to.
yet this is currently my favourite museum. The building is horrible - it looks too much like my university library, AKA The Ministry of Truth, for me ever to like it,
yet the interior is spacious and cleverly used. And the hype that surrounded its
opening, made more obnoxious by the self-satisfaction of the art industry, should
have been enough to put me off entirely, yet it's unbelievably completely justified.
In short, I should hate this place. Instead, I've found myself going back to it time
and again. It is, in fact, a must-see for every visitor to London, and even more of a
must-see for Londoners themselves.
And best of all, it's free.
Why so great? I'm still not sure. My best guess is because they've somehow
managed to take the pretension out of the art on show, to hang and present it in a
way that makes you both understand it and get excited about it. One of the key
reasons I love it is definitely because of the way it's organised. Instead of opting
for the old-skool chronological approach, or an artist-by-artist layout, the Tate
Modern themes all its floors, so artists, although their work is kept together, are
put in sections such as Modern Living - which makes perfect sense. And the
works are not only well displayed, they are intelligently selected, hung and
There is just such obvious thought and passion in the way this gallery has
been designed. The works are actually arranged in such a way that you are
invited to compare them, to compare the approaches of different artists to similar
stimuli - and it means that rather than being shown a work, told it's great and
invited to admire it, you see it in a context you can understand and, vitally, with a hugely useful little typed explaination beside it about the work in question. This is the true genius of whoever designed this museum: rather than simply give you
the title of a work, the artist and the date, they go out of their way to explain what the artist was trying to do, who they were and how the work came to be created.
Thus, you can actually understand modern art - something that I've never been
able to figure out on my own and which adds enormously to my enjoyment of it.
Every time I've come here I've left feeling inspired, and like I'm seeing things
around me afresh. I've seen things there that have made me think for hours, and I
can't think of another gallery that's done that. This is a gallery that restors art to
its rightful place in society - as something vital, inspiring, thought-provoking, a
place which can introduce you to new ways of looking at and thinking about the
world around you.
Blimey. Steady on old girl, got a bit carried away there. Apologies for the
mauve-tinted prose. I think I'd better stop now or I'll turn into Brian Sewell.
Drawbacks? It's simply too big. I've been three times, stayed for hours each time
and still only covered about two thirds of it. The cafe's expensive and not great
too, but an undoubtedly hip place to meet. And hey, you can't have everything.
But seriously. Skip the National, even the original Tate, but don't miss this on any
Listings: The nearest tube, I think, is Blackfriars - walk across the bridge, there
are plenty of signposts to guide you. It's open 7 days a week. Disabled access is
excellent - there's a ramp for chairs, lifts for every floor and when I went with a
disabled friend, they let us skip the queue and couldn't have been more helpful. If
you're with someone who doesn't speak English they have audio guides - and the
english ones are pretty good too. And free as well. Is there anything they haven't
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