On a rainy day, cycle ride abandoned we head into town – my youngest studying art for GCSE wants to see the Agnes Martin Exhibition at the Tate Modern.
I’m not that keen. It just didn’t work for me last time but console myself with the idea of seeing some of the house collection afterwards.
The exhibition is fairly empty and second time around feels more accessible.
Still not that desperately excited though. My girl is quite taken by the technique of the pictures, the level of detail and accuracy etc.
And it can never be a great event when the light shining through the windows is more exciting than the picture it shines down onto..
But still it’s a rainy day and there are worse places to be than staring across the Thames at St Paul’s enjoying a cup of coffee.
The house collection is arranged by theme which people will either love or hate. It means that if you wanted to hunt down all of the works by Picasso, for example, you’d be well advised to do some research beforehand and maybe take a floorplan along.
On the other hand, it’s exactly the kind of treasure hunt that can work with young teens in a gallery.
There are enough familiar names and styles to while away an hour or so really easily.
And some that are very modern indeed and totally unknown to me.
There is the usual problem of seeing pictures though the reflections of millions of visitors but since it’s quite a new gallery, the lighting is generally good.
The height of the rooms helps give a sense of space even when the gallery starts to get crowded.
Though I remain entirely bemused by the popularity with families of the Artist Rooms with Georg Baselitz. How exactly are these people explaining three rooms of masturbating women to their kids?
And at the heart of the gallery space is the huge Turbine Hall, currently awaiting a new installation.
And lots and lots of people moving up and down the floors via stairs, lifts and the escalators
There is a real sense of purposeful movement for such a large space.
The house collections were busy after the Agnes Martin galleries, perhaps because they’re free.
And whilst Lucien Freud is never going to be my “thing” there’s no doubt he can capture a rosy penis very well.
Rothko really is my sort of thing, and it’s disappointing though perhaps understandable that they’re kept in such a very dark room. Given their sombre colours, they are incredibly difficult to view.
Still my favourites though.