Visiting the Tate Modern in London was a dream come true. Having studied art in college, I was thrilled when I got to see some of the artwork I have been learning about for years (and even teaching to my students) in the flesh. I put the featured image as Duchamp’s Fountain because I find it absolutely hilarious that I got so giddy seeing a urinal (but I guess that’s the point of the work, isn’t it?) .
The Tate Modern had recently just opened a new section so I am lucky I was able to be in London when this opening happened. The first few things I noticed about the Tate Modern were the following:
- You walk in and are confused
- You are not sure where the art is (or sometimes what is art)
- It’s a very interactive museum, which is AMAZING
- You will get lost
- There are a lot of maps around though for when you get lost
- Take the stairs – even though there are 10 flights.
Now, maybe I’m just really bad a navigating, but I cannot tell you how confused I was when I was wandering around (and I bought a map). I entered on the river side and was immediatly thrown off by being in a giant cement block of a space. It took me a few minutes to find the stairs – I could see them, but couldn’t get to them. Once I was on my way up, I started questioning where the actual galleries started. There are plenty of maps, but not many signs that say things like “THIS SPECIFIC KIND OF ART IS THIS WAY”. I was lucky that I had nothing else planned for my day, so getting lost didn’t really matter to me. It took me a good twenty minutes of wandering around on the 3rd floor to realize the museum is divided into two sections (thank you giant maps put on almost every wall in the museum).
Anyways, the most important part – the art. The Tate has a fantastic array of work, from the well known artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein (yes I did fan girl at his work too), to lesser known artists just waiting to be discovered.What I really loved about the museum’s lay out is that they didn’t put the famous” artists all together, so you couldn’t just see the popular stuff, instead, you were able to compare the Warhol’s with an artist you never heard of and really ask yourself questions like, “their art isn’t that different, so why I haven’t I heard of ______?”. Pretty exciting stuff.
The gallery spaces are HUGE. So, even if the museum is crowded, you don’t feel like your fighting to look at one piece of art (cough cough the Mona Lisa). I know I already mentioned how much I liked how their curators put certain pieces by each other, but I also love the ideas for the rotating galleries. For example, there was a gallery who’s purpose was for the viewer to interact with the art, which is always fun. There was another gallery dedicated to color and you were greeted by two large, spinning, colored discs hanging from the ceiling that changed color on the wall as a light went through them. It was almost hypnotizing. I liked these choices, it was a breath of fresh air from the typical “here is American art” and “here is work from the 20th century”. I feel I’m getting repetitive, but the change of pace makes you think and look at art differently – neat idea, right?
Now, other than getting lost and having my head spin from all the amazing work, I climbed all 10 flights of stairs to the top floor – the elevators took forever and were so crammed with people (thanks guy who’s butt I got to know all too well). After panting a little and being kind of sweaty, I was able to see one of the most beautiful views of London from the deck. the top floor also had a little cafe (though I was entirely too hot for coffee and really would have rather had a beer), it’s a nice touch so you don’t feel you have to run back down the stairs once you’ve gotten the perfect selfie.
I spent a good 15 minutes up at the top before walking back down the stairs towards the outside. For good measure, I got lost one more time before finding the gift shop where I bought a Guerrila Girls post card for my friend Ana and headed out towards South Bank.