visiting Tate Modern

On the morning of our last day in London we went to the Tate Modern to see their collection of modern and contemporary art to balance out the older works seen previously. With us were our daughter and granddaughters who were again taking part in another childrens’ tour.

First the building fascinated, starting with the sloping pavement down into the entrance which seemed rather formidable and unattractive at first. The slope continued inside the building, in what is called the Turbine Hall which apparently is an exhibition space but was bare that day. It was a lively gathering place for groups of children and youths, we smiled at a young child chasing a runaway toy down the slope. The huge bookstore next to it looked like it had a rich collection of books though we were not buying. We were first attracted by a fascinating video in the lobby from which we learned that this building in its earlier incarnation was a a power station.

The collections are arranged thematically rather than chronologically which made for some interesting and thought provoking placements of artists. The large open bright spaces of the rooms suited the modern works and never felt crowded except the odd time a guided school group went through. It was exciting to see the famous pieces and also meet some unknowns. Occasionally I was disappointed that there were sometimes only one or two pieces representing certain artists. Again, we took no photos so I’m relying on the Tate’s website to link to a very few of the highlights.

Marlene Dumas’ work excited me for this was my first time seeing it live

Frances Bacon and Anish Kapoor are both favourites of mine

Several Picassos including this sculpture

Roualt was a favourite of mine in my art student days

David Smith’s sculptures I like

Cornelia Parker is an artist new to me, I loved her full room size installation. The photo does not do it justice but do check out the ‘additional view’ for a detail.

Anselm Kiefer is a powerful artist whose work I’ve seen and admired in Germany but I think we missed this room!

In one room, I was suddenly captivated by a window with a perfect view of the Millennium Bridge with St. Paul’s (below left). It almost looked like a piece of framed art like the other works on the walls, a clever architectural detail, I’d say.



Afterwards, we parted from the family and walked across this beautiful bridge and it’s amazing view of St Paul’s Cathedral, as well as the view back of the Tate Modern (bottom). We had no time to stop but kept on walking, even getting lost for a bit, for our wonderful lunch meeting with Mr. and Mrs. B. More walking about London followed, a kind of last look, then back home to pack and get ready for our journey to Paris the next morning.

August 19, 2009 in Art Exhibitions, Other artists, Travel by Marja-Leena