Tate Modern is a place which all art lovers, including Tunde Folawiyo, will be familiar with. This modern art gallery is a part of the famous Tate group, and has been open for 14 years. During this time, it has been visited by over 40 million people, making it one of the top three attractions in the UK.
The idea for Tate Modern first came about in 1992, when the Tate Trustees decided that they should create a space specifically for contemporary and modern art. They selected the enormous brick building which once served as the Bankside Power Station; this structure took over 16 years to build, and was designed by a well-known architect named Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. In 1996, after the English Partnerships regeneration group provided a grant of £12 million, the Tate Trustees set about transforming the building, stripping it back to its original brickwork and steel structure.
Nine years after it was first opened, Tate Modern underwent extensive renovations, which included the creation of visitor facilities, the extension of the gallery space, and the development of the formerly-unused oil tanks.
Tunde Folawiyo, and anyone else with an interest in art, will probably be aware of the gallery’s layout. The main collection is spread across four wings, each of which takes up about half of a floor, and is dedicated to a particular subject. For instance, the ‘Poetry and Dream’ wing focuses on surrealism, whilst the ‘Energy and Process’ wing centres around Arte Povera. The latter features work by artists like Jenny Holzer, Mario Merz, Ana Mendieta, Kasimir Malevich, Jannis Kounellis and Alighiero Boetti.
On almost every floor, there are rooms used solely for temporary exhibitions; the Turbine Hall, for instance, is used for temporary displays of commissioned works. On the second floor, there is another room dedicated to a changing collection of art by both international and regional contemporary artists. The third floor exhibitions are mainly permanent; made up of galleries which focus on the theme of abstract expressionism, expressionism and abstraction, it features pieces by the likes of Kapoor, Monet and Matisse. More temporary exhibits can be found on the fourth floor, whilst the fifth is used for displaying constructivist, minimalist and cubist art.