Although I travel to London frequently on business, it’s rare that I get the chance to do the tourist thing and see the sights. So last weekend was a full on treat – a couple of days in the smoke with the family celebrating my sister’s birthday.
One of the highlights was our visit to Tate Modern.
It’s a breathtaking place with the enormous turbine hall setting the tone for what has to be one of the best galleries in the world – it’s certainly up there. One of the permanent highlights for me is the Rothko room. I adore the muted lighting and the set of paintings that belong to each other, like a beguiling brotherhood of modernism they sit in their darkened room waiting to surprise and delight..
I love the story of how the paintings were commissioned by Seagram for their Fifth Avenue HQ, but when Rothko finished them he decided he liked them so much, he returned the commission fee and kept them. Fair play. Quite how they ended up in Tate Modern in London I don’t really know – but what I do is that they always captivate and reward repeat viewing.
The other paintings that really caught my eye this time around was a trilogy of Bridget Rileys. The colours were spectacular and the combination of technical excellence and composition blew me away. In the flesh the colours really did pop and the vibrancy of the colours makes your eyes water.
One thought on “Tate Modern”
I studied Rothko as part of an Open University foundation programme.
Just couldn’t or is that wouldn’t fall in love with his work. I think it is the restrictions placed upon them – that they have to be viewed in a certain light, or that – and this is the story i was presented – the Seagram was not the right setting for his art; too busy, to garish – punters more interested in what was on their plate.
I even tried to understand the concept behind the black paintings in the Chapel – but it was all lost on me. Although I think most art forms, other than those that are obvious or have a hook are lost on me.