The Turbines of The Tate Modern

In the name of art....we went to the Tate Modern! I had heard so much about this British contemporary art space and the progressive work they tend to display (most recently Ai Wei Wei's porcelain sunflower seeds) that I really had no idea what to expect. Dragging the Gravity set around to museums has led to my immediate concern over ceiling height, a thing that is far from a problem at The Modern which is housed inside a gigantic former power plant! Upon entering I was greeted to the largest canvas of a space (the former home of the plants turbines!) that I have ever seen in a museum! The giant hall has housed a lot of my favorite pieces in recent years including this stunning piece (in which an artist made casts of boxes from those used to pack up her mother's house after her death,  a looming, sugarcube, iceburg-like mountain in the cavernous Turbine Hall) and also this piece  (a simulated version of weather and sun bringing to mind the need to future of our environmental condition). 

Each floor of The Modern was divided into a series of galleries complete with a scrawled timeline of art history, a thing I really liked, putting into perspective what kind of art begot the next and giving the viewer an  objective ability to view these works in terms of historical reaction or action. Each exhibit then went further, discussing the artists personal creation of the work (for example how Miro created grotesque folk-like images in the face of the Spanish civil war and Catalonian skirmishes, pictured) which really telescoped the whole spectrum of art in a way that validates it in a broader sense, making art an important part of human culture, life and progression- I don't think I have ever seen a museum frame work in such a meaningful way and I seriously appreciated it!

Some of my favorite work here was by Lucien Freud (whose paintings I had never seen in person and whose skewed perspective is undeniably striking), Francis Bacon (pictured at top, for you film folks, Bacon is a HUGE inspiration to David Lynch), the films of Jean Painleve (underwater nature documentaries whose artistry uses every aspect of film [music, motion, lighting, writing etc.] to the fullest! So gorgeous!), a spectacular Jenny Holzer (why do people feel the need to be so serious when looking at art? Holzer is so good at bitingly sarcastic/intensely ironic phrasing [even in her potent political outcries], it is ok to laugh young art lovers!)...and these were only a few of the countless artists (Twombly below!) I admired at this museum!

The Tate Modern really goes out of its way to remind people of why art is so important: art can literally change the world and its historical prescence is palpable in this epic display of inspiration! To make it even better, the museum is not only open to the public seven days a week (with great hours) it is also free (!!!) such a perfect, accessible cultural resource! Also, it just occurred to me, that the Tate Modern itself, being a former energy producing factory (a deeply political/historical symbol in todays world) can be viewed as just as important as the artwork that it holds, reclaiming a means of production & profit (both in space and in terms of the huge private contributions made toward exhibitions) for us masses in order to display another angle of human progress. Overall an awesome afternoon in a truly awesome place! 



Donna K. is a recent transplant to the Midwest where she can be found exploring culture at large through film programming, writing and her general interest in the world- both on and offline.