This was my second visit to the Tate Modern Art Gallery – the first time was 14 years ago, when I was last in London with my husband.
I was going to skip it, but it was a cold, grey day and my mum and I needed to get out of the house.
I was a bit hesitant to take my mum – an Asian lady in her early 70s – because I wasn’t sure if she’d like all that “MODERN ART”.
When I was in Tasmania, I visited the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) and there was a very long wall with a row of plaster cast vaginas set just above eye level. 30 of them maybe? They were um, interesting. But I secretly prayed that there wouldn’t be anything too CONFRONTATIONAL like that at the Tate haha.
Thank goodness there were only just a bunch of Picasso’s and Pollock’s there!
Ah modern art, you crazy thing you.
Mondrian always makes me chuckle. I know he is regarded as a genius. But I always imagine him thinking, OK let’s have some fun and see if I can get away with this one…..
Apparently the colour, structure and placement of the elements within the picture is meant to represent an ethical view of society.
Composition C (No.III) with Red, Yellow and Blue (1935), by Piet Mondrian
Ok I had a special moment with this one.
Picasso has such a huge and remarkable body of work, across so many mediums. He’s a really impressive artist. And when you stare into his paintings they can be quite moving.
Especially this one!
Weeping Woman (1937) by Pablo Picasso.
From the display caption: One of the worst atrocities of the Spanish Civil War was the bombing of the Basque town of Guernica by the German air force, lending their support to the Nationalist forces of General Franco. Picasso responded to the massacre by painting the vast mural Guernica, and for months afterwards he made subsidiary paintings based on one of the figures in the mural: a weeping woman holding her dead child. Weeping Woman is the last and most elaborate of the series. The woman’s features are based on Picasso’s lover Dora Maar.
Some of my favourite Picasso paintings are the Guernica and Weeping Woman. So it was amazing to see this one in real life.
Autumnal Cannibalism (1936) by Salvador Dalí
I don’t know much about Dali, only that he knocked out some kooky-weird stuff.
I remember in art school, we had to do drawings in a Dalí style and it was actually really hard to deliberately discard all the “rules” of perspective, scale, form. It seriously messed with my head haha.
Number 14 (1951) by Jackson Pollock
Even though Pollock’s work is ridiculously messy, abstract and random, I quite like it.
But mainly because I can imagine how FUN it would be to throw / squirt / splatter / pour / make an almighty mess with all that paint!
It’s kind of exciting to stare into all that randomness.
Marilyn Diptych (1962) by Andy Warhol.
Hmm, I’ve never been a fan of Andy.
But he did make a significant impact on art, film, music, pop culture, art culture in the 60s so I had to take a photo for my kids to see.
Fountain (1917, replica 1964) by Marcel Duchamp
My mum scoffed at this one.
I’m a bit on the fence with it.
If you read the convoluted story behind it on the Tate website (quite interesting!), you can decide whether Duchamp was just being an ass, arrogantly trying to prove a point, honestly trying to make people stop and think, pissing off the Society of Independent Artists (of which he himself founded!), or being a witty / humorous / clever artist.
Overall, I had yet another wonderful day, slowly perusing through the art galleries in London. Bliss!
What I was most amazed by was the fact that almost all the good stuff was completely free. There is no official entry fee into all the big galleries, but they do encourage you to give a small donation. Love that.