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How is recent British Art represented at Tate Modern?

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Introduction

Aim�e Mason BA Art History, Single Honours. Autumn Semester 2002/2003 ( How is recent British Art represented at Tate Modern? ( The Tate Modern opened on the 11th of May 2000, in what was once Bankside Power Station and is now a masterpiece of architectural conversion with almost iconic status in the world of art galleries. The new space was designed by the German Architects Herzog and De Meuron, who were chosen for their plan which proposed the least drastic changes to Sir Giles Gilbert Scott's building, and was concerned more with highlighting the original design. Brought into being by Sir Nicholas Serota, the museum has been a key part in the revival of London as a world class centre of modern art, in answer to Paris's Pompidou centre, Bilbao's Guggenheim, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. From the Thames side galleries, viewed through glass walls, Wren's undeniably iconic dome is the answering view across the river. This visual is enhanced by a physical link in the form of the only recently opened Millennium Bridge which crosses the Thames in front of the Tate Modern. ...read more.

Middle

Emin's Tent: 'Everyone I have ever slept with' and Rachel Whiteread's cast of mocked up room: 'Ghost', to name but a sample of the substantial collection. 'Sensation' brought in some of the Royal Academy's highest ever attendance figures, and the Artists included continue to represent recent British Art now. The collection owned by the Tate cannot be expected to hold anything like as much recent British Art as is owned by Saatchi. It would be impossible given the nature of its funding. The collection at the Tate Modern is a survey of Modern and Contemporary Art from 1900 to the present day and recent British Art can only be shown in proportion to that of the rest of the world. Personally, I would loosely define 'recent British art' as work executed within the last decade or so. Artists' new work is usually only shown as part of a temporary exhibition or as a newly completed commission, such as 'Marsyas'. Of course the problems involved with acquiring new works are clear. The Artists show their work through private dealers' galleries such as that of Jay Jopling and Victoria Miro. ...read more.

Conclusion

Then there is the Turner prize, held annually at the Tate Britain. Should this now be moved to the Tate Modern where surely it would be the ideal way of representing recent Contemporary British art? Exhibitions at the Tate Modern show the work of the YBA's but do not favour them above any other movement. This is true also in the gallery in general. Recent British Art is represented at the Tate modern in proportion to everything else, and in the context of the modern art which came before it and exists around it. For me it just seems a shame that some of the pieces by key Artists are not the best examples of their work. As a national collection of Modern Art in London, in my opinion I would like to see a better sample of recent work by contemporary British Artists including one or two more key pieces. Perhaps unfortunately for the Tate, but fortunately for those amongst us who are looking to find this in the Capital, we will be able to find this in the new Saatchi Gallery in the next few months. Whether this will have a positive or negative effect on the Tate Modern we shall soon see. ...read more.

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