Results 1-10of 26 Reviews
London, United Kingdom
April 16, 2001
The collection of modern British art outgrew its old home in Pimlico and was moved from the gallery now christened the Tate Britain to the new gallery. It stands in a converted power station on the south bank of the Thames opposite St Pauls. It is a striking landmark with a great colossal bulk and a central freestanding chimney that towers above the river. It was converted by the Swiss architects Herzog and Meuron who turned a derelict power station into a sparkling new art gallery.
To reach it is very easy. It forms the focus of most people's wander along the Thames Walk (see other entry) so you could walk to it from Waterloo if you arrive on the Eurostar. But from another part of London alight at Blackfriars tube where you can stroll across the river or Cannon Street where you can cross on Southwark Bridge. Entry can be from the river side or more impressively from the east which takes you directly into the main turbine hall.
This is colossal and designed for gigantic works of art, many of them so big you can crawl inside. The turbine hall is seven storeys high and on the eastern face, reachable by escalators are the galleries themselves. They have broken with the usual historical and chronological order of hanging the artworks and have grouped them under the headings Still life,Landscape,Nude and History. The artworks are rotated so that you will not see the same thing when you revisit and are enlightening and very entertaining.
On the first level are the landscapes/still life including surreal sculptures and paintings. Salvador Dalis 'Transfiguration' is on display and the sculptures including his 'lobster telephone' are very impressive. On the second level is Max Ernsts' Celibes and impressive work by Matisse, Duchamp, Picasso and Andy Warhol. Fascist art also seems to be on display and the exhibt on propaganda in the Spanish civil war was very moving. But it is the next level - Nude/Action/Body - which gets the most reaction. At one point you enter a darkened cinema auditorium where a bearded man dances naked in slow motion to music. To observe the reaction of old ladies up from Surrey for the day is hysterical...."Ooohh... look at that man...he's showing his...."
But the Tate Modern has shown considerable flair in its design. Terraces face the river with comfy armchairs and reading matter for visitors. The views across the Thames taking in the Millennium bridge and the dome of St Pauls are fantastic. There are better views from the 7th level where you can look down on Shakespeare's globe and see Tower Bridge in the distance. There are plans to take people up another 93 feet to the gallerys central chimney
for 360 degree views across London.
POSTSCRIPT FEBRUARY 2002
Hurrah! The Millennium Bridge is finally open. After nearly two years and five million pounds - 'the blade of light' is now accessible to the public. Having traversed it for the first time I have to say that it is an exceptionally beautiful bridge. The intricate silverwork set against the dome of St Pauls or the monolith of the Tate Modern is something special. It is rather high which means good views up and down the Thames as far as Tower Bridge. The Globe and HMS Belfast can now be seen from a birds eye view.
And what about the famous wobble? The engineers at Ove Garup have cured it with stabilisers and it is as solid as a rock. Unfortunately the damage has been done and every guidebook for the rest of time will probably mention the wobble as a cautionary tale (especially the mean ones such as Lonely Planet). But on the other hand there is the fact that all publicity is good publicity....
From journal London - Cultural Powerhouse of Europe
Rotherham, United Kingdom
August 8, 2012
From journal Musuems and Galleries
Santa Cruz, California
August 12, 2004
It is a long trek from central London, so don't try to hoof it like we did. We got very lost, and it was raining. Try taking a cab or the underground.
The museum is very cold and sterile feeling. There weren't many pieces I enjoyed. However, I was fascinated by a digital piece that showed the stages of a plate of fruit rotting. Quite graphic.
If you LOVE modern art and clean, cold lines, spend an afternoon at the Tate. Otherwise, it's no more satisfying than a pint at a pub with some fish and chips.
From journal London Bridges Aren't Falling Down
July 29, 2002
Take the tube to either Southwark or Blackfriars and walk the rest of the way.
Tate Modern is housed in the former Bankside Power Station. The museum displays a collection of international modern art from 1900 to the present day, such as works by Dalí, Picasso, Matisse, and more contempoary artists like Dorothy Cross, Gilbert & George and Susan Hiller.
I have to admit that I found Modern Tate a bit disapointing - I think you need to be very interested in modern art to understand to qualities of the collection.
Of course the works of Dalí, Picasso and Matisse are nice but having seen these paintings before I had hoped to be pleasantly surpriced by the newer artists.
I found the buildning a bit boxy but still quite impressive. However I won't spend the time to see Modern Tate the next time I visit London, there are so many other great things to do.
From journal A romantic stay in London
Northern Va Suburbs of DC, Virginia
February 13, 2003
We only stayed here for about an hour, but since it was free, it was worth the time spent.
I didn't care that much for the art, although we breezed through the place.
From journal London, my favorite destination in the world
Brighton, England, United Kingdom
July 7, 2011
From journal Museums and galleries in London
by Mandan Lynn
Smithwick, South Dakota
March 19, 2006
From journal More of London
November 14, 2003
With that introduction, it won't surprise you to hear that the museum is housed in what was previously called the Bankside Power Station, originally designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (also the architect of the Battersea Power Station - you will have seen its four chimneys from the London Eye), the Liverpool Anglican cathedral, University libraries in Oxford and Cambridge, Waterloo Bridge, and the famous British red telephone box (sadly fewer of those to spot these days)).
The power station itself was a brick-clad steel structure of c4.2m bricks and its central chimney stands at 99m (325ft), apparently to ensure that it didn't top the dome of St Paul's; it replaced a coal-fired power station in 1952 and expanded in 1963 but, by 1981, oil prices had risen such that the power station was uneconomic compared to other forms of electricity generation. It stood unwanted until 1994, when the Tate Gallery realised its collection had outgrown its Millbank home and took an option on the site. It took until 2000 for the Thameside megalith to be converted, forming part of the Southbank regeneration which included the Globe Theatre, Vinopolis, the Clink ghoul-show and restaurants near the NT.
Most striking is the turbine room, which operates as a "covered street" (3,300 sq m - 35,520 sq ft) to show works of art -- often one enormous piece, which could not be accommodated elsewhere, fills the entire expanse. The whole museum (on 6 floors) has a total internal floor area of 34,500 sq m (371,350 sq ft) and numerous modern art exhibitions (some permanent and some travelling) which span paintings, cinema, interactive art, and sculpture to satisfy the most inventive and contemporary of tastes in art. (If your taste runs to the more traditional, also try the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square or the Tate Britain (as above -- both free).
Open Sun-Thurs: 10am-6pm; Fri-Sat: 10am-10pm (save 24-26 December). Admission free - donations encouraged. Obviously a nice route is along the South Bank on foot, but on a fine day, also try a boat trip -- the Tate to Tate runs every 40 minutes along the Thames between Tate Britain (Millbank -- see above), London Eye, and Tate Modern.
From journal Ambling around London pt 1 - southbank of the River Thames
June 28, 2002
To me, the most unusual thing about the Tate Modern is the curator's choice in arrangement of the paintings. Instead of arranging them chronologically (or by artist) as most museums do, the paintings here are arranged by theme: History/Memory/Society, Nude/Action/Body, Landscape/Matter/Environment, Still Life/Object/Real Life (containing a favorite piece of mine, the Claes Oldenburg Giant 3-Way Plug -- Oldenburg is known for his giant replicas of everyday objects). While I'm used to seeing all the museum's pieces by a certain artist grouped together with others of his/her genre, this arrangement allows a comparison of how artists through the years approached a similar subject matter. Very thought-provoking.
Another feature I liked was the lounge area with headphones and recorded mini-lectures. You can pick one of about 10 lectures at any of several headphones and hear explanations of the architecture of the building, explanations of the art styles and movements, or critiques of various pieces of art. Also unusual is the fact that there are very few benches in the galleries. Instead, there are stacks of little canvas folding stools that you can take with you and set up whenever you want to stop and study a particular work. All in all, a truly modern modern-art museum.
From journal On & Off the Tourist Trail in London
Glen Ridge, New Jersey
August 27, 2002
From journal London and the West in 12 Days