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Tate Modern is Britainís new national museum of modern art. Housed in the former Bankside Power Station, Tate Modern displays the Tate collection of international modern art from 1900 to the present day, including major works by Dalì, Picasso, Matisse, Rothko and Warhol as well as contemporary work by artists such as Gilbert & George, Susan Hiller, and Sam Taylor-Wood.

Tate Modern stands at the heart of London, opposite St Paulís Cathedral. The building has been converted by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, who have trasformed it while respecting the integrity of the original design. A new two-storey glass structure or lightbeam spanning the length of the roof provides natural light into the galleries on the top floors andhouses a stunning cafè offering outstanding views across London.

The Swiss Light, designed by Michael Craig Martin in collaboration with architects Herzog & de Meuron, illuminates the top of Tate Modernís chimney. A lightweight luminous roof, fabricated from translucent panels, at night this beacon is a unique addition to the London skyline.

Tate Modern shows the Tate collection of modern art in a completely new way. Instead of the traditional chronological order, Collection 2001 is arranged in four groups, each of which spans the century. The displays show how landscape , still life, the nude and history painting have survived and been trasformed during the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. The themes cut across movements and disciplines, linking historic works with contemporary, and combining painting and sculpture with film, video and photography. They reveal how traditions have been confronted, rejected and extended by artists from the beginning of the century onwards. Each theme is arranged in a suite of galleries, and could make a complete visit on its own.

Landscape is usually seen as an image of the natural or urban environment, however it now embraces artistsí own physical experience of the world. Many artists have worked with material of landscapeitself and brought it into the gallery, while some have used abstract shapes and colours to convey the sensations of nature. Highlights include rooms dedicated to Mark Rothko, Ben Nicholson and Joseph Beuys and key works such as Claude Monetís Water-Lilies, displayed alongside Richard Longís Red Slate Circle.

Over the last hundred years, still life has been the focus of many of the most radical innovations in art. Cubism re-presented object as fragmented, abstract forms, while other artists explored the way object were produced and consumed in a new technological age. The works in these galleries trace alternative ways of engaging with everyday things, from the readymades of Marcel Duchampto Fischli deceptive simulation of the contests of a whole room, which they created for Tate Modern.

Throughout the twentieth century artists have remained preoccupied by the human ure and human themes. Picasso and Henri Matisse were amoung the artists who transformed the image of the human body, under the influence of African and other tribal sculpture. After the Second World War, distorted bodies were used to express anguish, isolation and suffering, notably in the work of Alberto Giacometti and Germaine Richier. More recently artists haverocerded traces of their own bodies using marks and gestures, and artists such as Sam Taylor-Wood and Bruce Nauman have explored the body further using video and photography.

The genre of art known as history painting traditionally andresses moral, social or political issues, often by picturing key moments from the past. Since 1900 artists have developed this theme by finding ways to confront the present, and to document and commemorate the past. A Crucial strand of twentieth-century art traces the utopian ambitions of a series of avant-garde groups who tried to change history and affect the future. Highlights in this suite include works by Piet Mondrian, Kandinskyís Cossacks and Andy Warholís Marilyn Diptych.


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