7 June 2010

Popping in to the Tate Modern

Working close to the Tate Modern is magic!

I loved the building when it was the disused Bankside Power Station and its sympathetic restoration has made it one of the jewels on the South Bank along with the Oxo Tower, National Theatre and South Bank Centre.

I have made the pilgrimage from London Bridge to Waterloo many times but it still excites me every time.

Even on a quick dash for a sarnie from the Rosie Tate Cafe (cheap, cheerful and recommended).

The building's impressive beauty comes from the indomitable dark brick, long sleek windows and the little touches of decoration that belie its strictly industrial heritage.

I want to live there.

On the longer lunch breaks I get to look inside too.

It's normally a quick visit to just one or two galleries. This quickness whets the appetite but does not completely satisfy so it's worth revisiting the same galleries a week or so later.

My usual destination is Level 3 and headlong in to modern paintings, such as the room filled with vast canvasses by Cy Twombly with loops and swirls of dripping red paint. Vision On meets Dexter.

I also like the monochrome (or mostly monochrome) paintings by the likes of Barnett Newman whose 1950 piece Eve is solid blood red (again!) with a sliver of burgundy down the right-hand side. Simple but gorgeous.

It can be easy to take London's treasures for granted at times, in a way that tourists don't, but when they are as close, accessible and rewarding as the Tate Modern then going there easily becomes a habit.

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