Tate Modern

Tate Modern (36)

In an old power station on the banks of the Thames, you will find the most important international modern art gallery in the United Kingdom. 

The leading Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron were entrusted to convert the Bankside Power Station into the vanguardist building that today houses the extensive collection of the Tate Modern. 

The third and fifth floors are dedicated to the permanent collection, while the fourth floor is for the temporary exhibitions. The same is the case for the Turbine Hall, which is just by the main entrance, and which as its name indicates, this space of 3,300 square metres housed the old power station’s turbines. 

Some of the most beautiful elements of the project by Herzog and Meuron are, on the one hand, the glazed section that crowns the building, and the idea of conserving the 99-metre high chimney. This chimney was beautifully highlighted by the Swiss Light illumination system, designed by the artist Michael Craig-Martin.

As regards the collections, the Tate Modern represents a genuine panorama of the modern art world from 1900 until today. This means it includes the most important movements and vanguards since the appearance of Fauvism. The gallery boasts the presence of works by the great geniuses of the 20th century, which include Dalí, Warhol and Picasso. 

You can also see masterpieces by Matisse, as well as one of the best and most complete anthologies of Surrealism, with paintings by such key artists to this movement as Ernst, Magritte and Miró. American Abstract Expressionism is another movement represented here, with important works by Pollock and even a room dedicated to Mark Rothko. 

Those who feel overwhelmed after so much abstraction and minimalism can always fall back on the rooms dedicated to Pop Art so that the works of Warhol and Liechtensten inject them with a bit of colour. 

Although initially the gallery had works based on a conceptual criteria, today they are arranged according to four great periods of 20th-century art: Surrealism, Minimalism, the post-war innovations in the field of abstraction and figuration and, finally, three interconnected movements: Cubism, Futurism and Vorticism.

The gallery puts on temporary exhibitions, presenting the works of important artists or movements within modern art. And although to get into the temporary exhibitions you have to pay, entry to the permanent collection is free.

You can have a pleasant pause in one of the cafeterias and do not forget to visit the shop, where there is an impressive range of products inspired by the collection, books, reproductions and objects designed exclusively by contemporary artists. 

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