Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Tate Modern and The National Gallery

View from the Cafe at the Tate Modern
On Saturday 29th August, as part of a *City Slickers' social event, a group (6) of us went to the Tate Modern based in the former Bankside Power Station, London and to the National Gallery in London's Trafalgar Square.  Tate Modern is a modern art gallery and Britain's national gallery of international modern art.  The Tate holds the national collection of British art from 1900 to the present day and international modern and contemporary art.  

At the Tate there were numerous exhibitions: 'Poetry and Dream' featured a large central room dedicated to Surrealism, while the surrounding rooms featured works by artists influenced by Surrealism and its methods.  'Energy and Process' was both challenging and controversial, particularly one room, which displayed three large canvasses that had red paint thrown at them! Is that really art I wondered!

The National Gallery was where I viewed magnificent works by the movers and shakers. There was no doubt in my mind that here was one of the greatest collections of Western European painting in the world, ranging from the Middle Ages to the first decade of the twentieth century. Van Gogh's 'Sunflowers' (1888) was the most popular, judging by the sheer numbers of young tourists crowded in front of the painting all eagerly taking photos.  I had to jostle my way through the crowd so as to get a couple of photos for myself!

Van Gogh's 'Sunflowers' (1888) at The National Gallery
The National Gallery far outweighed my expectations. I ended up buying a National Gallery Souvenir Book plus '...isms Understanding Art' by Stephen Little, which will be a handy guide to a wide range of art 'isms' which have formed the history of Western art from the early Renaissance to the present day.

...isms Understanding Art by Stephen Little (Bloomsbury, Publ 2014)
I thoroughly enjoyed this cultural and artistic treat as I'd never been to either of these galleries  before.  Next trip is the Serpentine Gallery.

*City Slickers is a social group for people from different walks of life based in Wellingborough who every 4-6 weeks make a point of going somewhere a bit special with members and friends usually in London, Birmingham, Oxfordshire...well wherever there is an event that we want to see/do.

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