A Guide to the Tate Modern

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Since it first opened its doors 15 years ago, the Tate Modern has developed a reputation as one of the most important cultural in central London.

Tate Modern London

It’s ability to shock and inspire has never been in question, with its curators becoming well-known for their willingness to put together provocative exhibitions that really challenge visitors.

But what makes the museum so special? Read on for a comprehensive guide on the Tate Modern’s main attractions.

Exhibitions

The EY Exhibition: Sonia Delaunay

The first UK retrospective to look at the complete breadth of her work, this exhibition shows the best paintings, textiles and clothes created by the artist over her 60-year career. A key figure in the Parisian avant-garde scene, Delaunay was known for celebrating movement, technology and urban life in her work, while she also explored new ideas about colour theory with her husband Robert Delaunay. Described as a “knockout show” by the Guardian. The exhibition runs until August 9th.

Agnes Martin

The first major retrospective of Martin’s work since 1994, it will showcase her classic paintings featuring subtle pencil lines and pale colour washes. She was known for her convictions about the emotive and expressive power of art and she famously said: “Without awareness of beauty, innocence and happiness, one cannot make works of art.” Martin was a key member of the 1950s and 60s abstraction field, but she continued to make art right up until her death in 2004. Tickets are priced at £12 for adults, while under-12s go for free. The exhibition runs from June 3rd to October 11th.

Displays

The following displays are open every day and are free to enter.

Alexander Brodsky and Ilya Utkin
These Russian artists were famed for their architectural pieces that rethought the city as a dream landscape. They became part of an informal group known as the Paper Architects and their work was seen as a direct contrast to the austere utilitarianism of the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s. All of the etchings in this display are taken from their Projects portfolio (1980-90).

Nicholas Hlobo
This artist is well known for his ability to create sculptures and drawings out of almost anything. He has been known to use satin ribbon and the inner tubes of car tyres as part of his creations, frequently stitching and weaving these materials together for additional effect. The South African also seeks to introduce a more ambiguous approach to sexuality. This display has been curated by Kerryn Greenberg.

Beyond Surrealism
This art movement was responsible for some of the most memorable creations of the 20th century. Picasso is among the most famous of its exponents, but Robert Motherwell, Dorothea Tanning and Arshile Gorky were also leading players. This display features some of the best examples of surrealism, as artists deal with the twin themes of the irrational and the unconscious. While surrealism initially took off in northern European cities, it eventually flourished in the US and found its home in New York.

Around Abstract Art 1920-1935
This display covers abstract art made between the two world wars, a time of great uncertainty for artists and humanity alike. Some artists decided to move away from individualism and instead prioritise developing art based around the laws of geometry. This new world view was backed by developments in engineering and architecture, with Wassily Kandinsky, Barbara Hepworth and Naum Gabo among its most famous proponents.

Interactive activities

In an effort to make visiting the Tate Modern a more immersive and personal experience, there are a number of interactive activities.

Digital Drawing Bar
People can draw something on a digital pad and see it displayed instantly, meaning that you can become part of a virtual mosaic of visitors’ visual imagination.

Comment Boards
Interactive screens on Levels 2 and 4 stream the most interesting and inspiring comments left by visitors. It gives you the platform to join the art debate or share how you found the whole experience.

Find Out About The Artists
The Global Studios project allows you to look inside artists’ studios around the world, explore their work and see what inspires them.

Getting to the Tate Modern

By tube
Southwark (Jubilee Line, 600 metres approx), Blackfriars (District and Circle Line, 800 metres approx) and St Paul’s (Central Line, 1,100 metres approx).

By bus
Routes 45, 63 and 100 all stop on Blackfriars Bridge Road, routes RV1 and 381 all stop on Southwark Street, route 344 stops on Southwark Bridge Road.

By train
Blackfriars (800 metres approx) and London Bridge (1,100 metres approx).

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