The Tate Modern is one of London - and the world’s - most iconic art galleries. As well as having an international collection of modern and contemporary artworks that few can beat, it's a historic piece of architecture worth visiting in its own right. It’s hard to imagine how empty London’s modern art scene must have been before this place opened, but we’re sure glad it did. Tate Modern is one of four Tate venues in the UK, and it welcomes a stonking 5 million visitors through its doors each year.
The gallery opened in 2000, making use of the old Bankside Power Station. The imposing structure on the banks of the Thames was designed after WWII by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the same architect behind Battersea Power Station. It was converted by Herzog & de Meuron, who returned to oversee a massive extension project. This started with the opening of the Tanks in 2012, and ended with the brand-new Switch House extension in 2016.
The twisted pyramid-like structure marked the most significant new opening of a cultural institution since the British Library on Euston Road. Like the rest of Tate Modern, it’s well worth having a gander at its super-stylish outside - but for the real treats, you need to head indoors. The Switch House gave Tate Modern an additional 60% of space, and they’ve used it wisely. Their international focus means their collection of over 800 works are by artists hailing from over 50 different countries. They’ve also tackled the gender debate in a much more pro-active way than most art galleries, with their solo displays split 50-50 between male and female artists.
Along with their permanent collection (featuring big names including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Barbara Hepworth), Tate Modern’s blockbuster temporary exhibitions never fail to pull in the crowds.
|Venue name:||Tate Modern|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Thu, Sat, Sun 10am-6pm; Fri 10am-10pm (last adm 45 mins before closing)|
|Price:||Free (permanent collection); admission charge applies for some temporary exhibitions|
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Artist Rooms: Jenny Holzer
There’s nothing more revoltingly pointless than an inspirational quote. The kind of thing your aunt posts on Facebook: ‘Life’s not about the destination, it’s about figuring out how to use the touchscreen ticket machine at the station’ or some nonsense,...Contemporary art Until Wednesday July 31 2019 Free
Dorothea Tanning review
Everyday life can be a nightmare, and Dorothea Tanning (1910-2012) created art that was like a dream diary of domestic horror. Her images ripple with gothic, fantastical paranoia, tearing at the fabric of living: the dinner table, the chores, the sex,...Until Sunday June 9 2019
Franz West review
Franz West took all the stuffy, conservative formality of the art world and told everyone where to shove it. The austere reverence of the gallery, the contemplative deification of the artist: West just couldn’t be arsed with it. Instead, the anarchic...Until Sunday June 2 2019
Magic Realism: Art in Weimar Germany 1919 - 1933
Tate Modern's major new free exhibition does a number on reclaiming the term 'magic realism'. Commonly used to describe the stories written by South American authors including Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel García Márquez, this exhibition remembers that...Until Sunday July 14 2019
Pierre Bonnard: The Colour of Memory review
Some paintings seem to shimmer with light, but Pierre Bonnard’s images of landscapes, domestic scenes, crowds and bathing women absolutely shake with it. And not just light. They hum with sexuality, vibrate with tension, pulsate with melancholy and almost...Until Monday May 6 2019
Things to do
Uniqlo Lates at Tate Modern
Hang out after-hours and discover art, film, music talks and workshops at this regular late-night arty party at Tate Modern. This month sees pro-LGBTQ+ performance, textile classes, pin badge workshops, art talks and banging music from NTS Radio.Late openings Friday April 26 2019 Free
Things to do
Hip Hop Karaoke at Tate Modern
Your past experience of art galleries probably involves stern-faced staff members telling you to keep your voice down, which will make it all the more refreshing when you're yelling out '99 Problems' to a braying crowd in the the Tate Modern. DJ Rob Pursey,...Quirky events Saturday May 11 2019 - Saturday July 20 2019
In her lifetime, Russian artist Natalia Goncharova helped found avant garde modern art movements, worked with Sergei Diaghilev at the Ballet Russes, designed dresses, created theatre set designs and much, much more. This exhibition at Tate Modern is overdue...Thursday June 6 2019 - Sunday September 8 2019
In 2003, visitors to Tate Modern went mad for Olafur Eliasson's Turbine Hall installation 'The Weather Project'. The artist is now back at the same galley with a big exhibition and an outside artwork. He's even taking over the Terrace Bar, turning it...Thursday July 11 2019 - Sunday January 5 2020
Tate Modern continues its commitment to giving female artists the recognition they deserve with the biggest retrospective of Dora Maar ever held in Britain. Maar's surrealist works centre on an extensive archive of photographs and photomontages, but her...Wednesday November 20 2019 - Sunday March 15 2020
Average User Rating
4.1 / 5
- 5 star:41
- 4 star:30
- 3 star:7
- 2 star:6
- 1 star:4
Unmissable! It's the candy land of museums in London. It's full of immersive experiences that go from the structure of the building itself to the artwork it exposes. The architecture and design of this museum if perfectly aligned with the artwork, you see people hanging out on the floor at the ground floor, enjoying the temporary installations, others enjoying the 360 view on the top floor with a tea and brownie, others roaming around the dozens and dozens of rooms filled with a spectacular range of art work. My favourite are always the more experimental art pieces, but you're sure to find something for every taste - from Picasso to Dali, you'll be sure to have a great time!
The Tate is by far one of my favorite museums as it has a little bit of everything for everyone. Although mostly focused on Modern pieces, it covers multiple types of mediums.
It’s a huge museum so you can expect to spend at least 3 hours here. I take my time and rest in between to get the full experience. What’s great about the Tate is also the balcony viewing space in the tower!
This will give you good views of London overlooking the Thames River. The only issue is that the lifts took ages to get up there so you’ll have to wait a long time or squeeze yourself in.
I'm not one for modern art, give me a Rembrandt over a Warhol any day. Even if you're like me, or even if you don't like art at all, you'll enjoy the Tate Modern. Before I even entered the building I knew I was in for a treat, and after finding out it was an old power station I couldn't think of a better use for the space.
With floor after floor of rooms to explore, it is a great place to wander around, even if you only have a few free hours. The mediums range from video, to photographs, to statues, to neon signs. I found myself being drawn into some pieces, and when I was talking with the people I went with, we seemed to all have had very different experiences when interacting with the art.
Even if you're not a big fan of contemporary and modern art, I'm sure you'll like this museum. They usually have exhibitions of famous artists and the building itself is quite fascinating.
It's more enjoyable during week days but it's ok also on weekends. Don't miss the cafè on the 6th floor with an amazing and picturesque view of Saint Paul and the new terrace with views over all Southbank.
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...
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!
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.
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
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.
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!
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!
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)
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!
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.
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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