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A gallery displaying one of the greatest collections of modern art in the world

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Idea and Object
Energy and Process
Material Gestures
Poetry and Dream
States of Flux
Turbine Hall
Balcony Views
During the 1990’s the Tate Collection had outgrown the original Tate Gallery on Millbank and a new space was required to display the modern and contemporary art. In 1992 a press conference was held to announce the creation of a new Tate Gallery of Modern Art, to be called the Tate Modern.

Bankside Power Station, housing Tate Modern
Photo TourNorfolk
The hunt began for an appropriate site and the location they found exceeded all expectations.  Bankside Power station, located on the south bank of the River Thames, was the creation of renowned architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott who’s other successes included Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, Battersea Power Station and the famous red British phone box.  The site lay undiscovered for over 20 years before it was decided that this magnificent expanse of industrial space, superbly situated opposite St Paul's Cathedral, was the perfect setting for a centre for modern art. An international architectural competition was held, over 70 architects entered including some of the worlds most distinguished. The final choice was the young Swiss team of Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron.

Did You Know?

The chimney was capped by a coloured light feature designed by the artist Michael Craig-Martin, supported by the Swiss Government and known as the Swiss Light. At night, the Swiss Light marks the presence of Tate Modern for many miles.

The Swiss Light
Photo raindog
Since the museum's opening on 12 May 2000, it has become an increasingly popular destination for Londoners and tourists alike with over 4 million visitors a year.  Entry to collection displays and some temporary exhibitions is free.  The conversion of Bankside Power Station into Tate Modern has played an important role in the redevelopment of the area south of the River Thames.  Bankside, one of the capital's oldest districts, has once again become a vibrant area and a new cultural focus for London.

Modern art usually starts on the outside!
Photo steve.wilde
Access to the Tate Modern is by crossing the Millennium Bridge from St Paul’s and a ramp down into Turbine Hall. This hall once housed the electricity generators of the old power station and is 5 storeys high. It is used to exhibit specially commissioned work by contemporary artists. The galleries of Tate Modern are organised into themes, such as Poetry and Dream, Ideas and Object, Material Gestures and States of Flux. The building contains some great internal and external views, including the view of Turbine Hall from the mezzanine bridge on floor 2, riverside views from the balcony on floor 4 and great views over London from the restaurant on floor 7.

Views of Turbine Hall
Photos TourNorfolk

Did You Know?

In 2006 Tate Modern installed a temporary 182 feet long slide by artist Carsten Holler. The gallery continually use Turbine Hall for temporary work like this!

The slide from 2006
Photo .martin.
The Tate collection of modern and contemporary art represents all the major movements from Fauvism onwards, beginning in 1905. It includes important masterpieces by both Picasso and Matisse and one of the world's finest museum collections of Surrealism. Its substantial holdings of American Abstract Expressionism include major works by Pollock as well as the nine Seagram Murals by Rothko, which constitute the famous Tate Rothko Room. There is an in depth collection of the Russian pioneer of abstract art Naum Gabo, and an important group of sculpture and paintings by Giacometti. There is also a significant collection of Pop and contemporary art, including major works by Lichtenstein and Warhol, Minimal art and Conceptual art.

Admiring modern art in one of the galleries
Photo Steve & Gemma

Claude Monet's Water-Lilies
Source WikiMedia (PD)

Did You Know?

A fast catamaran boat takes visitors along the river between the Tate Modern and the Tate Britain. Boats run roughly every 30 minutes. Single tickets are £5 for adults, £2.50 children. Purchase tickets in either gallery.
Visitor Information
The Tate Modern is open daily 10am to 6pm. Entry is FREE. The gallery also holds many temporary exhibitions (charge). Nearest Tube Station Blackfriars. Tel: 020 7887 8888

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