Tate Modern - London
Opened in 2000, in what was formerly Bankside Power Station, few galleries in the world can compare with the Tate Modern for the sheer audacity of its setting, size and scope. Officially the UK’s national museum of modern art, the Tate Modern has gone on to become one of the UK’s and London leading attractions with tourists and British alike flocking here in their millions each year. The Tate Modern is part of Tate group of galleries which also encompasses Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives, which are all popular UK tourist attractions in their own right.
The Building itself is a brick built modernist structure designed by Sir Charles Gilbert Scott, who also created Battersea Power Station, familiar to many as the structure on the front cover of Pink Floyd’s Animals album. As Bankside Power Station, the structure was completed in two separate stages between 1947 and 1963. In 1981 the turbines stopped turning as the UK’s energy industry was restructured and the formidable building sat idle for nearly two decades.
Following the election of the New Labour government in 1997, a newer, younger feel swept the UK, as Rule Britannia became ‘Cool Britannia’ and the time was right for a project with the depth and scale of Tate Modern. A collaboration between the UK Arts Council, architects Herzog & de Meuron and contractors Carillion saw the disused space of Bankside Power Station transformed to one of the world’s leading attractions for modern art lovers with the doors to Tate Modern opening on 12th May 2000.
Tate Modern is divided into five levels:
Turbine Hall – an enormous space five storeys tall with an area of 3,400 square metres, the space originally housed the power station’s gigantic turbines but is now home to specially commissioned work between the months of March and October each year. Many visitors are drawn to Tate Modern for these exhibitions alone.
Level Two – a small exhibition space for work by contemporary artists.
Level Three – Material Gestures - highlighting abstractionism, expressionism and abstract expressionism featuring works by Monet, Rothko, Kapoor and Matisse.
Level Three – Poetry and Dream – surrealism and beyond deals with modern art’s ability to connect with the art of the past with works by Bacon, Picasso and many others.
Level Four – a large exhibition space for shows by contemporary artists.
Level Five – Idea and Object – deals with minimalism, conceptual art and constructivism by names such as Andre, Flavin, Le Witt and Holzer.
Level Five – States of Flux – one of the gallery’s most popular attractions this space concentrates on cubism, futurism, vorticism and pop art by household names like Picasso, Lichtenstein and Warhol.
A short walk from Bermondsey and Blackfriars tube stations, and Blackfriars and Waterloo railway stations, Tate Modern is well placed for visitors to move onto other London attractions including the Hayward Gallery on South Bank , the Globe Theatre, St Paul’s Cathedral, London Dungeon, The Tower of London and Tower Bridge.
Tate Modern opening times: Sunday – Thursday, 10:00–18;00
Friday and Saturday, 10.00–22.00
London SE1 9TG
020 7887 8888