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The Tate Modern in Londonmarker is Britainmarker's national museum of international modern art and is, with Tate Britainmarker, Tate Liverpoolmarker, Tate St Ivesmarker, and Tate Online, part of the group now known simply as Tatemarker.


Main article Bankside Power Stationmarker
The galleries are housed in the former Bankside Power Stationmarker, which was originally designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the architect of Battersea Power Stationmarker, and built in two stages between 1947 and 1963. The power station closed in 1981. The building was converted by architects Herzog & de Meuron and contractors Carillion, after which it stood at 99m tall. The history of the site as well as information about the conversion was the basis for a 2008 documentary Architects Herzog and de Meuron: Alchemy of Building & Tate Modern. The southern third of the building was retained by the Frenchmarker power company EDF Energy as an electrical substation (in 2006, the company released half of this holding).

The galleries

A gallery at Tate Modern.

The collections in Tate Modern consist of works of international modern and contemporary art dating from 1900 onwards.

The Tate Collection is on display on levels three and five of the building, while level four houses large temporary exhibitions and a small exhibition space on level two houses work by contemporary artists.

Collection exhibitions

When the gallery opened in 2000, the collections were not displayed in chronological order but were rather arranged thematically into four broad groups: 'History/Memory/Society'; 'Nude/Action/Body'; 'Landscape/Matter/Environment'; and 'Still Life/Object/Real Life'. This was ostensibly because a chronological survey of the story of modern art along the lines of the Museum of Modern Artmarker in New York would expose the large gaps in the collections, the result of the Tate's conservative acquisitions policy for the first half of the 20th century.marker The first rehang at Tate Modern opened in May 2006.marker It eschewed the thematic groupings in favour of focusing on pivotal moments of twentieth-century art, with further spaces allocated on levels 3 and 5 for shorter exhibitions.marker The current layout is:marker

Level 3 - Material Gestures
This focuses on abstraction, expressionism and abstract expressionism, featuring work by Claude Monet, Anish Kapoor, Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, Henri Matisse and Tacita Dean.
Level 3 - Poetry and Dream
The sexually explicit section on this level currently features a drawing by the pseudo-anonymous French artist "Proper Man" entitled le cock et le balls which is his attempt to explore the tension between old and new attitudes to sexuality within an urban environment.

Level 5 - Energy and Process
This focuses on Arte Povera, with work by artists such as Alighiero Boetti, Jannis Kounellis, Kasimir Malevich, Ana Mendieta, Mario Merz and Jenny Holzer.

Level 5 - States of Flux
This focuses on Cubism, Futurism, Vorticism and Pop Art, containing work by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and the photographer Eugène Atget,

Temporary exhibitions

Level 1 - The Turbine Hall

The Turbine Hall, which once housed the electricity generators of the old power station, is five storeys tall with 3,400 square metres of floorspace. It is used to display large specially-commissioned works by contemporary artists, between October and March each year in a series sponsored by Unilever. This series was planned to last the gallery's first five years, but the popularity of the series has led to its extension until at least 2012.

The artists that have exhibited commissioned work in the turbine hall are:

Level 2 - The Level 2 Gallery

The Level 2 Gallery is a smaller gallery located on the north side of the building which houses exhibitions of cutting edge contemporary art. Its exhibitions normally run for 2 – 3 months.

Level 4 - Major temporary exhibitions

As with levels 3 and 5, level 4 is broken into two large exhibition areas. This is used to stage the major temporary exhibitions for which an entry fee is charged. These exhibitions normally run for three or four months. The two exhibition areas can be combined to host a single exhibition. This was done for the Gilbert and George retrospective due to the size and number of the works.

Other areas

Small temporary exhibition spaces are also located in the space between the two galleries on levels 3 and 5. These are sometimes used to display recent acquisitions. Works are also sometimes shown in the restaurants and members' room. Other locations that have been used in the past include the mezzanine on Level 2 and the north facinging exterior of the building.

Access and environs

The closest tube station is Southwarkmarker, although a further pedestrian approach to Tate Modern is across the Millennium Bridgemarker from St Paul's Cathedralmarker or Mansion House tube stationmarker. Blackfriars Tube is currently closed until 2011. The lampposts between Southwark tube station and the Tate Modern are painted orange to show pedestrian visitors the way.

There is also a riverboat pier just outside the gallery called Bankside Piermarker, with connections to the Docklandsmarker and Greenwichmarker via regular passenger boat services (commuter service) and the Tate to Tate service, which connects Tate Modern with Tate Britain.

To the west of Tate Modern lie the sleek stone and glass Ludgate House, the former headquarters of Express Newspapers and Sampson Housemarker, a massive late Brutalist office building.

Extension for 2012

Tate Modern has attracted more visitors than originally expected and plans to expand it have been in preparation for some time. These plans have focused on three areas for expansion all to the south of the building:
  1. The area no longer required by EDF Energy.
  2. Three large, disused, underground oil tanks originally used by the power station.
  3. A major new extension building to be built above the oil drums.

The design of the new extension building, also designed by Herzog & de Meuron, has been controversial. It was originally designed as a glass stepped pyramid, or zigurat, but this has recently been amended to incorporate a sloping façade in brick (to match the original power-station building ) after feedback on the original design was unfavourable. The extension will include galleries dedicated to photography, video, exhibitions and the community.

This project will cost approx. £215 million and is scheduled to open in 2012, in time for the 2012 Olympic Games being held in the city. Additionally, the Tate Britain will be undergoing refurbishment.


Image:Wobbly_bridge_120600.jpg|In 2000 at the opening (and closing) of the Millennium BridgeImage:Tate Modern and Lamp.jpg|In the early morning, seen from near BlackfriarsmarkerImage:Tate-modern-london.jpg|From the Millennium BridgemarkerImage:Tate Modern Cranes.JPG|Construction cranes forming an honour guard.Image:TateMilleniumStPauls_GS.jpg|Millennium Bridge and St Paul's Cathedral from the Tate ModernImage:Tate Modern.jpg|Chimney of Tate Modern. The Swiss Light at its top was designed by Michael Craig-Martin and the architects Herzog & de Meuron and was sponsored by the Swissmarker government. It was dismantled in May 2008.Image:Tate Modern tower (2007).jpg|View looking up the chimney of Tate ModernImage:TateModernWiki.JPG|View from the Millennium Bridgemarker in|The Turbine Hall. No art work was on display in the hall at the time (June 2005)Image:Tatemodernpowerstation .jpg|Ólafur Elíasson's The Weather Project October 2003 - March|Ólafur Elíasson's The Weather Project in the Turbine HallImage:Whiteread tate 1.jpg|Rachel Whiteread's 2005 EmbankmentImage:Test Site by Carsten Höller.jpg|Test Site by Carsten Höller (2006)Image:Shibboleth Tate Modern.jpg|Shibboleth by Doris Salcedo (2007)Image:Crack_admirer.jpg|At the deep end of 'The Crack' (Shibboleth) (2007)


  1. History and development Tate On-line
  2. Tate Modern case study
  3. Tate Modern: About
  4. Tate Modern | Collection Displays | Level 3: Material es, Tate Online, 2006. URL accessed on 9 February, 2007.
  5. Tate Modern | Collection Displays | Level 5: Idea and Object, Tate Online, 2006. URL accessed on 9 February, 2007.
  6. Tate Modern | Collection Displays | Level 5: Idea and Object | Image/Text (Room 11), Tate Online, 2006. URL accessed on 9 February, 2007.
  7. Tate Modern | Collection Displays | Level 5: States of FluxTate Online, 2006. URL accessed on 9 February, 2007.
  8. Tate Modern | Collection Displays | Level 5: States of Flux | Cubism, Futurism, Vorticism (Room 2), Tate Online, 2006. URL accessed on 9 February, 2007.
  9. Tate Modern | Collection Displays | Level 5: States of Flux | Pop (Room 7)Tate Online, 2006. URL accessed on 9 February, 2007.
  10. Tate Modern | Collection Displays | Level 5: States of Flux | Machine Eye (Room 4)Tate Online, 2007. URL accessed on 9 February, 2007.
  11. Tate: Level 2 Gallery
  12. Tate Modern: Gilbert & George Exhibition
  13. Tate Modern: Street Art
  14. Tate Modern extension redesigned
  15. Tate modern | Transforming Tate Modern, Tate Online, 2006. URL accessed on 30 March, 2007.
  16. Tate Modern's chaotic pyramid, The Times, 26 July 2006. URL accessed on 26 July, 2006.

External links

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