Tate Modern

Part of the wider ‘Tate Group’, which includes ‘Tate Britain’ ,’Tate Liverpool’, ‘Tate St Ives’ and ‘Tate Online’, the Tate Modern Gallery is home to Britain’s Modern Art Collection (broadly defined as everything post 1900). Despite only opening in 2000, it is currently the most visited modern art gallery in the world with nearly five-million visitors per year. It is also completely free to visit the main collection, special exhibitions sometimes charge admission.

Housed in the the old Bankside Power Station, its modern industrial architecture reflects its dedication to all things related to modern art. The Power Station is actually rather grand, its massive turbine hall is five stories high and encompasses over three thousand square meters of floor space, it is an incredible space and many installations have been planned and constructed with specifically this space in mind.

Unlike a traditional gallery, the artworks are not hung according to chronological order. Originally, in 2000, the collection was displayed according to themes, it was re-hung in 2006, with another unique order of, ‘pivotal moments’ or ‘paradigms’. As a result you’ll wander through ‘Material Gestures’ (expressionism, and abstraction), ‘Poetry and Dream’, which is quite sexually explicit, ‘Energy and Process, and ‘States of Flux’ (cubism and pop-art). The collection is incredibly varied and includes paintings by Monet, Picasso, Matisse and Warhol, along with many contemporary artists.

The Tate Modern is known for its innovative and often challenging exhibitions, which are most often installed in the Turbine Hall. There is a great emphasis on active viewing and even participation at Tate Modern, do not assume that you are expected to just passively view the art, several incorporate the audience into the artworks. Free entry for all is an important aspect of the Tate Modern’s mission, modern and contemporary art should be easily accessible rather than be confined to private collections to be viewed and understood only by art critics. This is a very welcoming gallery, and is considered a great day out for families with special exhibits aimed at teenagers and young children.

Open every day, from 10am to 6pm (10pm, Fridays and Saturdays), admission to the main collection is free for everybody. Tours are available, which are also free, and there is a cafe and restaurant on site. Located on the south bank of the River Thames, it is easy to reach the gallery by public transport and walking. The Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian only walkway which easily connects the Tate Modern to the north bank of the river. Being practically in line with St Paul’s Cathedral, it is a simple walk from this icon to the gallery. Easily in walking distance from St Pauls, Mansion House, and Southwark Tube Stations, it is also reached by several bus routes and Blackfriars Overground station. Being on the bank of the Thames it is easily incorporated into a lovely walk by the river, and can also be reached by ‘Clipper’ ferries and by a dedicated ‘Tate’ service which connects the Tate Britian gallery and Tate Modern via boat.

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