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Blog // Images
May 2, 2006

Re-Hanging The Tate

I’m looking forward later this year to seeing the Tate Modern after it’s first major rehang. Unlike Jonathan Jones, who writes in today’s Guardian, I am a big fan of the original ism-defying layout of the Tate Modern. Moreover, I take the gallery’s popular sucess as an affirmation of correctness of that hang’s pedagogy. What […]

I’m looking forward later this year to seeing the Tate Modern after it’s first major rehang. Unlike Jonathan Jones, who writes in today’s Guardian, I am a big fan of the original ism-defying layout of the Tate Modern. Moreover, I take the gallery’s popular sucess as an affirmation of correctness of that hang’s pedagogy. What Jones fears is something I think should be applauded.

I’ll be honest. There’s another reason art critics can’t stand Tate Modern. It makes us feel small. This gargantuan thing has achieved a prominence in popular culture unrivalled by any museum anywhere. It is the most famous modern art museum in the world – the place to go to see new art even if you are from New York City and have its far more comprehensive Museum of Modern Art on your doorstep.

However, the problem does remain that a great deal of the gallery’s best works are not regularly on display, so rethinking the layout makes sense. Moreover, I think since it’s opening the Tate Modern has had a prodigious effect both on popular awareness of modern art and the connection between that art and the life of the city of London. That is managed to achieve such status by appealing first to the art novice, rather than the art academia is a lesson for other such cultural institutions.

On a slightly related note, Foxymoron reports on the trials of the cultural redevelopment of West Kowloon (a project somewhat remiscient of the Sydney Opera House actually).

[tags] Tate Modern [/tags]

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