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The Tate Galleries

Thursday, 1 January 2004 Leave a comment Go to comments

The Tate Galleries were our mission yesterday. Up until 2000, there was only one Tate Gallery. Now it is divided and in two different locations – separated by the Thames river. Tate Britain has changing displays of art related to the history of Britain between the 16th century and the present. Tate Modern displays art from the last 100 years interpreting four themes: the nude, landscape, still life and history painting. There are paintings, sculptures, film, video and photographs.

Though we had planned to go to the Tate Modern, we ended up at Tate Britain first. We took a quick look through the galleries and the shop then headed back to the tube to make our way to Tate Modern. Tate Modern is housed in what used to be a power plant. The first thing you see when you come in is a long, seven floor high gallery with a sun like light on the wall at one end and no other lighting. You look around and see people on the lying on the floor or standing looking up and realize that there is a mirror on the whole length of the ceiling. We went through most of the galleries relatively quickly – I’ll have to admit that a lot of modern art doesn’t do much for me. There were a few things that I liked: a hanging display of items from peoples sheds that had been blown up by the Army (at the request of the artist) then hung by strings from a grid on the ceiling, a large plaster cloud with water spouts all over it, Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley photos, as well as some works by Salvadore Dali and Pablo Picasso. Among the hard to interpret or appreciate (for me anyway) were: a painting of ten uniform sausages (hotdogs) along with all the practice sketches, several large canvases of two colors of paint, and dead painted trees.

All in all the galleries were both very enjoyable and gave us pleasant way to spend the last day of 2003.

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