Tate Modern

Art, Galleries South Bank Free
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(76user reviews)
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 (© Tate Photography)
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© Tate Photography

Turbine Hall

Millenium bridge view (Duncan McKenzie / Time Out)
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Duncan McKenzie / Time Out
Tate Modern cafe (Michael Franke / Time Out)
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Michael Franke / Time Out

Thanks to its industrial architecture, this powerhouse of modern art is awe-inspiring even before you enter. Built after World War II as Bankside Power Station, it was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, architect of Battersea Power Station. The power station shut in 1981; nearly 20 years later, it opened as an art museum, and has enjoyed spectacular popularity ever since. The gallery attracts five million visitors a year to a building intended for half that number; the first fruits of work on the immensely ambitious, £215m TM2 extension opened in 2012: the Tanks, so-called because they occupy vast, subterranean former oil tanks, will stage performance and film art. As for the rest of the extension, a huge new origami structure, designed by Herzog & de Meuron (who were behind the original conversion), will gradually unfold above the Tanks until perhaps 2016, but the work won’t interrupt normal service in the main galleries.

In the main galleries themselves, the original cavernous turbine hall is still used to jaw-dropping effect as the home of large-scale, temporary installations. Beyond, the permanent collection draws from the Tate’s collections of modern art (international works from 1900) and features heavy hitters such as Matisse, Rothko and Beuys – a genuinely world-class collection, expertly curated. There are vertiginous views down inside the building from outside the galleries, which group artworks according to movement (Surrealism, Minimalism, Post-war abstraction) rather than by theme.

Posted:

Venue name: Tate Modern
Contact:
Address: Bankside
London
SE1 9TG
Opening hours: Mon-Thu, Sat, Sun 10am-6pm; Fri 10am-10pm (last adm 45 mins before closing)
Transport: Tube: Southwark/Blackfriars
Price: Free (permanent collection); admission charge applies for some temporary exhibitions
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  • Mixed media Until Sunday December 31 2017
  • Until Sunday June 11 2017
  • Wednesday July 12 2017 - Sunday October 22 2017
  • Classical and opera Wednesday September 6 2017

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:32
  • 4 star:28
  • 3 star:7
  • 2 star:5
  • 1 star:4
LiveReviews|76
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Laura G
Tastemaker

As if being the home to great contemporary art isn't enough, the collection is located in an old power station, which makes for a very interesting built for a museum, with mile high ceilings and a killing view of St Paul's Cathedral. Their own collection is free to visit, and you can catch a glimpse of almost all modern and contemporary heavy weight name, such as Warhol, Duchamp, Bacon and Picasso. The crown jewels tend to be, however, the paid exhibits, which shine a well curated light into solid names of today, as well as legends of the past that live on through their work. The new, controversy surrounded, quarters allow for a 360o view of London from the 10th floor, and make this site even more unmissable than it already is.

Lucy Loo
Tastemaker

How lucky are we that we have galleries like the fabulous Tate Modern on our doorsteps and we don't need to spend a penny to wander around at our own pace gazing at the artwork? I normally only manage an hour and a half, as there is so much to take in, but going there makes me feel cultured and proud to be a Londoner! A lovely way to spend an afternoon...

jeaniekarl
Tastemaker

The Tate modern is one of the most iconic art galleries within London and it's a great vast space with the central turbine hall often playing host to a great number of installations, most notably the sunrise/sunset and Carsten Hollers slides in the past. There are always new and wonderful exhibitions going on and recently the place has been revamped and designed with more lift access, although the lifts themselves are really small, and a new viewing platform that is actually freezing this time of year. But I can imagine would be nice come Summer time and offers a great opportunity to snoop into some neighbouring posh flats. One of those where it's recommended you visit whether you like modern art or not. It's ideally located positioned along the Southbank and across St. Paul's. The walk across the Millennium bridge towards St. Paul's is a must for any tourist and it is in short proximity from the Globe theatre and the Southbank as well. 

Chandni A
tastemaker

I'm not an art lover and don't really understand some of the 'art' housed at the Tate modern. However, the views of the Thames from the terrace are really cool. You can see the whole of London and it is free!

MillieMollyMoo
Tastemaker

The Tate Modern itself is an architectural beauty in itself. I visited the new section and it's structure is wondrous and baffling. The is also a 360 degree balcony top you can visit for the most exquisite view of London,a living piece piece of art. A for inside you will always find something fascinating,original and worth catching. My favourite thing I saw when I was there,was The Pet Shop Boys installation,in the tank area, where their song 'It's a sin was split into it's respective parts and played bit by bit until all parts were layered together to form the song as we know it. There is always a range of the sublime to the ridiculous and always something surprising. Cafe's and restaurants a plenty,it's a good day out. 

Georgie
Tastemaker

I'm sorry, but no. I've never seen such a huge collection of bollocks in my life! A room filled with knotted human hair, a urinal, scribbles on a page, stuffed pairs of tights hanging from the ceiling with a single sock representing a willy. I mean, come on! It just all feels as though someone has worked out that we humans are utter morons and will appreciate anything if we tell them its art. Well this human doesn't appreciate it. This human only appreciated the gift shop which is actually full of really cool stuff, including books and posters, jewellery and trinkets. And I appreciated the building itself. A pretty spectacular example of architecture. But otherwise... no.

Sara A
tastemaker

This is one of my favourite places to while away an afternoon. I wouldn’t say I’m particularly an art lover, I actually know very little about art but it doesn’t seem to matter at the Tate Modern because there’s something here for everyone. Obviously there are plenty of ‘WTF??’ pieces of art on display (part of the fun if you ask me), but there’s also much more to marvel at and enjoy.


It is such a spacious building with plenty of places to sit down and either contemplate the art or just take a breather from walking around. It’s a bit of a sanctuary from the rest of London really – all the enclosed spaces and people rushing around, the Tate couldn’t be more the opposite. There’s also a restaurant at the top with really nice views that is absolutely worth a visit.


My most recent visit here was to check out the new building as I hadn’t been since it opened up. It wasn’t really as I expected. Despite there being nine floors once you take away all the floors for exhibitions and private areas, you really aren’t left with much of the “free” stuff. However, I wouldn’t let this put you off going. As a whole it’s a really enjoyable experience, whether by yourself or with friends/your other half/kids.

Lynsey F
tastemaker

If you like modern art then the Tate is your heaven in the UK. The building itself is alone fairly impressive both inside and out with its stunning location by the Thames and its huge turbine hall as the glorious centre piece for all visitors. I've visited many times now and am still blown away by the vastness of the turbine hall area and the amazing art pieces that are placed there.

The Tate has recently been extended and now has a glorious viewing gallery which is definitely worth a look too. The one thing I would say is that the lifts that are available to this viewing point are a bit of a law unto themselves. I regularly see visitors looking confused as they wait insanely long amounts of time for the lift to arrive on prett much all of the floors to this view. If you can make the stairs then please do so. Trust me it's quicker.

The Tate has also become slightly confusing now that's it's a bit spread out over to building sections. I have to check where I'm going by referring to their wall maps and I've seen others also struggling. Signage to exhibitions please Tate people!

Other than this minor gripe the Tate is genuinely amazing. Free to enter (except for a few special exhibits) and there is so much to see that you could genuinely spend the entire day here.

Sarah B
Tastemaker

The Tate Modern is is an undisputed London art landmark. The vast opening of the Turbine Hall is a shock to step into once you've worked your way through the dense heart of the city to arrive there - that much open space is unheard of. To top it off the space is used as a large-scale experiment twice a year by some of the biggest and most talented names in the art world and it is of course free to wander in and make of it what you will.

The rest of the Tate is rather an overground rabbit burrow of endless escalators and corridors that lead to rooms and rooms of their collection on display; particularly since the opening of their extension Switch House. Switch House itself has a hugely impressive basement and stunning, panoramic views of the London skyline on the 10th floor - unfortunately I struggled to engage with almost everything in between.

Tickets to temporary exhibitions are quite often extortionate these days but there is more than enough to see and experience for free here, especially if you are a bibliophile like me as even the shops are both stunning and sprawling!

Adrian H
Tastemaker

The newly expanded Tate Modern, situation on the Southbank near to Shakespeare’s Globe, across the river from St. Pauls cathedral, offers a glimpse at various areas of modern art. Featuring two or three paid for exhibitions only, the majority of the galleries and exhibits are free to view, and with a constantly changing line up there is always something new to see.


The other major reason to pop to the Tate Modern is the new 10th floor with its 360-degree panoramic views of London. Again this is free, which gives it an advantage over the taller Shard building. Even if you have no interest in modern art, this viewing area is well worth a visit if you are in the Southbank area.

Katharine K

Having previously been to MOMA in New York, my expectations were high. The selection of art at the Tate is vast, housing works from the likes of Claude Monet to Marcel Duchamp. It provides stables such as Picasso, Mondrian and Warhol, however, it offers only a single or small amount of works from each. 


The vastness of the Tate Modern is impressive, and allows works of art to be presented sparingly. This avoids crowding and allows whole rooms and specific lighting for individual artworks or bodies of work such as Mark Rothko's 'The Seagram Murals', Cildo Meireles' electronic 'Babel' and progressive 'Embryology' by Magdalena Abakanowicz. 


Yes, some of the artwork my just look like a urinal or a sown up potato, but if you read the artists' denotation you will surely be impressed. 

Naomi
Tastemaker

I was never much of a fan of the Tate on GCSE art trips down to London, finding that nothing really appealed to my tastes or even satisfied my basic understandings. But as I've grown up and studied art to a higher level, I don't mind the odd trip to browse around anymore, especially since the opening of the new building, which if nothing else offers panoramic views of London, a fabulous bar/cafe and a whole host of more interactive and lively exhibitions. Still not my favourite place, but it's not as bad as I remember. Just watch to avoid really busy peak times!

Rellie Loves
Tastemaker

One of the best places to see a versatile mix of modern & contemporary art in London. Highly recommend for a cultural day out in the city.

Telmo M
tastemaker

Nice building just next to the river. One of the best museums in London. If you have some visiting you in the city just take it here also for a nice view of the city from the terrace

L-J
tastemaker

Looking fabulous Tate, this amazing pubic space has undergone a massive extension in the form of the switch house, and is currently the most visited modern art museum in the entire world, lucky us. As a Londoner and avid art fan, I would highly recommend becoming a member of the Tate, your membership covers the Tate Modern as well as the Tate Britain. Your annual membership gives you free and unlimited access to all exhibitions in both galleries which is phenomenal value. However the best part for me is the private members rooms in both galleries. At the Tate modern the members room is on the 5th floor of the Boiler house, with two private terraces one of the River towards St Paul's and one on the switch house extension side with views of the Shard. The members room has it's own restaurant serving fantastic lunches, wine, afternoon tea and coffee. You can pay the membership in 3 instalments by direct debit and you receive 3 months free. Win win - support the Tate.

elladacas
tastemaker

aw man... what has happened to the tate gallery? what once was the pride and joy of our city is now a building filled with pieces of absolute rubbish they're calling art.  I love contemporary art so I'm open to abstract pieces but what they have there is not by any means art.. They have a few Picasso's and other classics but not enough in my opinion .. such a shame!

GeorgeX
Tastemaker

My favourite place in London! Tate Modern is all about contemporary art - any kind of art; paintings, photos, videos, sculptures, immersive stuff. Here you will find one of the bigest collections of contemporary art from popular as well as new artists from all over the world.

After June's new opening of the Switch House, the collections are now split between the old and the new building. The buidings by themselves are quite impressive having the brutalist architecture trend. Stunning views of St Paul Cathedral and Thames if you choose to sit for a coffee or food at the 6th floor of the old building (cheap prices here!) or stunning 360 views of London if you choose the 10th floor of the new building (no shop here - just balcony). If you choose the 10th floor, be aware; there are lifts going straight to the top, don't take the wrong lift going just to the middle of the building.

A whole day is not enough to explore the place. Despite being quite open spaces and not over-stuffed with art objects all over the place, still there are a lot to explore either in the permanent or the temporary collections or even the really well equiped with modern art's books & items 2 x ground floor shops.

Mei M
Tastemaker

Tate Modern is one of my favourite places in London. I've been there a lot of times, I know some of its exhibitions by heart, but I never get bored. 


I'm very interested in modern & contemporary art, even the very controversial works, and the Tate Modern has so many things to see that I'm never disappointed. You will find very famous artists, and also less known ones. The gallery features any kind of artwork - paintings, photos, videos, interactive sculptures. I think even if you're not into art, you can still have some fun time there!


I've recently visited the new part and the building is very interesting, another big plus is that from there you can enjoy a wonderful view of London :)

JamesBarker82
tastemaker

I visited the Switch House at the Tate Modern - I was a little disappointed. The building is beautiful and the view from the top was pretty spectacular.  But the art work did not live up to what I have come to know and love about Tate. The art work was randomly positioned and no well known artists like what I have come to love about Tate. 


Im hoping that the exhibitions will evolve and hopefully we will see some updated work soon



Hong-Anh
Tastemaker

The new wing of the Tate Modern, the Switch House, feels like a bold and iconic addition to the London riverside and it feels very in-tune with the Tate Modern's popularity as a public space in itself. Two weeks after opening, it already feels like a tourist destination and undoubtedly this is due to the impressive 360 degree view of London that you get from the 10th floor terrace of the Switch House. Access to the terrace is free but it certainly isn't easy. The Switch House has a bank of eight elevators but only four of these go to the 10th floor. It's nigh on impossible to get onto one of the 10th floor elevators at any floor past 0 - make sure you head to the basement to hitch a ride to the top. 

Catia S

Going to Tate Modern on a saturday has always seemed to me a terrible idea however I've decided to adventure myself and get over the fear. I was more interested in knowing and seeing the buzz about the new Tate Modern extension: the Switch House. The Switch House is both the perfect extension and the perfect compliment to the original building the Boiler House. The war and industrial feeling in the Switch House is overpowering and this does not change as you go up the building (no wonder the ground floor has been named the Tanks). The rawness of the live performances and the exhibitions in the building not only match this overpowering sense but also give a certain sensuality to the Switch House experience. These are particularly felt in the Tanks, where instruments just lay on the floor and where a group of five people move randomly across the room and in  Louise Bourgeois’s exhibition where sex, death, love and vulnerability are the main themes in a very intimist journey. I attempt to say let's forget the Boiler House for a while and explore the infinity possibilities in the Switch House.

Toni S
Tastemaker

This past weekend saw the opening of the Tate Modern extension by Herzog & De Meuron (Architects). The opening brought visitors by the crowds, having said that though, there was ample space for visitors to circle the installations.


The aptly named exhibition 'Between Object & Architecture', a free display spread across 3 floors, housed some interesting and interactive installations - definitely worth a visit. The building itself is a maze of considered transitional spaces and exhibition spaces that provide a neutral backdrop to the art installations.


Make sure to visit the viewing level on the 10th floor that boasts a 360 view of London. 

Izzy K
Tastemaker

Tate Modern has always been one of my favourite art destinations in London, so I’d been really looking forward to the new opening of the Switch House. The 10-floor building, designed by the architect Herzog & de Meuron, is truly impressive. The raw concrete bunker-like level 0 (called the ‘Tanks’) gives a false impression of a hard to navigate maze, but once you transition to the next level, it’s all clear, bright and organised.


You will find the familiar themed rooms with some of the artworks you might have seen before in the old building. The highlights for me are the Louise Bourgeois room, Rebecca Horn’s sexy bondage pieces and of course Kusama’s 'Passing Winter' - a glass cube with holes, fitted with infinity mirrors – which I reckon will be the most instagrammable piece in this collection. The 360 degree view  over London from the balcony on level 10 is stunning, as expected, but here the positives end.


Despite the size of the extension, the number of artworks on display is very disappointing. When you get to level 4, you learn the remaining 6 levels are occupied by cafes, restaurants, event spaces, etc. It feels like there are more places for consumption than the actual exhibition rooms. And don’t try to use the lifts, they are absolutely useless. We tried to get to level 10 from level 4, but despite trying with multiple lifts, all of the ones going from 0 up would not stop. The same happened on the way back. People were trying to get out on various floors but the lift would just go straight down to 0. Let’s hope that it’s just the beginning and the space will live up to its potential. For now, I’ll stick to the old good power station.

Danilo Reis
tastemaker

I've always regarded the Tate Modern as a big middle finger sticking out, both in terms of architecture and content. Yesterday I went to check the new extension and was very pleased to see how it blends in nicely with the original power station where the museum has been housed since 2000. The artwork on display was very varied and interesting, with art from South America, Africa and Asia which is very refreshing indeed. A lot of the art required the viewer's interaction but some of it was there only to be displayed, such as Marina Abramovic's Rhythm 0 table, which was originally part of a performance. This certainly alters the original impact and meaning of the artwork, a challenge that the institution has not been able to overcome yet. This also confirms Tate Modern's role a museum in the traditional sense, with the aim of educating and informing the viewer. My friend said that some of the art on display was unworthy of such an important museum but I enjoyed it all thoroughly!

Aude
tastemaker

Art is subjective but I really find the Tate a bit disappointing. I may not understand Modern art, but I think the museum is not showing the best part of it. It may look a bit small compared to the size of the building as well, but with the works nearly over, I will have to give it a try again.

The good point in the Tate, because yes there is one, is its terrace! It offers an amazing view on St Paul Cathedral and on the Thames!

You can do not fancy Modern Art, but at least go there for the view.

TheMixedMedic
Tastemaker

The Tate Modern - I go purely for the entertainment value. Nowhere else will you find hour long videos of someone repeatedly pouring ketchup over themselves, portraits of strangers with fried eggs over their breasts or pickled animals in glass boxes. 

Lilli
Tastemaker

Tate Modern is the perfect place to spend a free afternoon. There are always great temporary exhibitions that continue on to tour the world as well as a fantastic permanent collection that is free to view. 


The building alone is very impressive, too. The giant turbine hall is the impressive center piece of the museum and always astounds me.


There is a decent cafe, too, and the members room has a great view out over the Thames, Millenium Bridge and St.Pauls. 


Pick a floor, do some exploring and you'll soon be back for more!

Tom
moderatorStaff Writer

It's easy to be blown away by the building let alone all of the art on display in the Tate Modern - the turbine hall is genuinely monstrous! Definitely need more than one visit to do it justice.

K M
Staff Writer

Brilliant gallery, if anything it may be slightly too big and tiring to get round the whole place in one visit. There is so much to see and do especially when they put on the temporary exhibitions, they are very well thought out. I much prefer Tate Modern over Tate Britian

Victoria B

Great temporary exhibitions however the permanent collection hasn't changed in a long time! The building alone is worth a visit, the turbine hall is particularly impressive!

Nadia T

I do like visiting, the exhibitions are always sublime and well curated but I would like the main bulk of the exhibits to change every once in a while. I do feel like they have been the same the whole time I lived in london (8 years)

Olivier

After not having been for a while (which is a disgrace considering I only live a 10min walk from the museum) I ventured back across the Millennium Bridge to see if any of the permanent exhibitions had been updated and was I in for a treat! It started with the very interesting art project in the turbine hall by Abraham Cruzvillages. The artist pretty much created a suburban allotment on stilts. The biggest surprise however was to be found on the first floor which had been re-curated entirely. On one half it still had the Citizens and States with the likes of Picasso, but with a lot of new works from for example Mondriaan which I had never seen at Tate Modern before. The most interesting exhibition however was the "Making Traces" show in which Mark Rothko's works found a new home. I have missed those pieces since the took them away from the public eye a while ago. Please do me a favour and go visit Tate Modern to discover the new first floor! You'll Love it! 

Tom Bruce
Tastemaker

A grand industrial building turned modern art exhibition palace, the Tate Modern has prime positioning on the Thames Southbank directly opposite St Paul's cathedral. It's free, it's wonderful, it's absolutely massive (and, with a staggeringly large sail boat-looking extension being added as I write, about to be even more so) and it has a couple of cheeky Warhols and Hockneys. Unfortunately, the paid entry seasonal exhibitions are a bit out of the recently graduated student's price range. The curators will also never beat the time when they had gigantic usable metal slides installed which ran from the rafters to the ground floor. Now that was art!


The number of ridiculously good looking fashionistas per square foot of London positively sky rockets upon entering the Tate Modern. Every beard is groomed, every eyebrow plucked, every pair of jeans tight, every set of cheekbones chiseled, every tattoo a work of art. As a friend noted at the time, we were "the ugliest people in the entire gallery". It's as though their genes were better. And you can't compete with DNA. You just can't. Why mention these people in a review, though? Well, because the real art is in the reaction of the viewer to the art. Just as it is more fascinating to watch an artist at work than to view the finished product, it is more enjoyable to examine how human strangers interact with the space and art around them. We are all art. One gallery piece, a rectangular mirror, makes this exact point. But I had formed this theory before we came to the mirror part, I swear it. Below is the only picture I took at the Tate this last Friday - I just found the separations satisfying. Ah, culture. 

Kritt N
Tastemaker

If you love contemporary art, then there's no better to place spend your day than the Tate Gallery. 


Since being converted from a power station, the Tate Modern houses some of the finest collection in contemporary and modern over seven floors and organizes special exhibition for gallery members and for those with ticket. 


The cafe on the second floor is well worth a visit for it's stunning view across the Thames, the Millennium Bridge and St. Paul's Cathedral and the the gallery shop is well worth a visit too, for a vast array or gift ideas from the wacky to the inspirational. 


It's easy to reach from London Bridge and like most London galleries, is free. Well worth a visit.

Janet Bennett

We loved visiting the Tate Modern, my daughter always loved art, so it was by chance we visited on a wet day, but what a memorable experience. So much to look at and admire, paintings, photography, this museum is one the best things to see in London, lovely shop, and lots for children to participate in.

Samuel

I am not very arty, I don´t understand modern art... but this is a great museum. Many interesting pieces of art, very spacious to walk in even when there are hundreds of people

Guillermo

Yes, it is a modern art museum, but I don't understand how the most of the pieces in it can be called master pieces. Maybe I am too classic.

Kate Rushton

A great place to spend a rainy day in London. It really does challenge your view of art. But, most importantly, it is free.

Beki Lacy

I came here for the first time with my friend who is an art student a few years back and went in with a closed mind as I wasn't sure what to expect. How wrong was I? Such an entertaining gallery (I'm not usually a fan) but it's exactly what it says in it's name, modern, I believe this helps it appeal to a younger audience and gets them more interested in the art. Another must see in London and another where you get free entry - so many amazing things to do for free!

Courtney

I have visited the Tate Mordern 3 times in the past year and walked past the outside countless times and it never fails to awe me. My last visit took me to see the Roy Lichtenstein exhibit, someone whom I studied at school which gave me yet another reason to love this building (after studying it at University). I highly recommend standing on the viewing platform and taking in the full expanse of the Turnbine Hall!

Alice Waller

Whether you think modern art is pretentious rubbish or eye-opening beauty, the Tate Modern still makes for a fun and interesting day out. Something in London that has to be tried at least once!

paul

what rubbish, fine art is art! i could knock over my office bin and display it in their gallery.

And rew McKelvie

Having been taken to this page, from the film section, I unwisely believed it would actually show the films showing at Tate ......

Betty Maxey Clark

A gallery I will visit when in London on my next visit to restore older buildings in Cities and have them for the public to see and use should be done more often Betty Maxey Clark 1/25/12

peter

One art critic described this place as "whatever it is, it's not an art gallery". I agree; it's like a soulless art theme park. Art needs intimacy to work

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