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Art

Museums, Travel, UK

A Tour of the Tate Modern in London

July 31, 2017

Tate Modern

People keep asking me what I am going to do London for a month, I respond, “See all the museums!” In order to do that you have to get started right away. I probably won’t review each one I visit individually, but the Tate Modern needed its own post as it is quite large.

Now I am not a huge fan of modern art. However, two years ago when I attended the Venice Biennale I had a change of heart and decided I would be more open to seeing modern art. This motivated me to see the Tate Modern plus I had heard so much about the building.

Getting to the Tate Modern

The Tate Modern is accessible by several tube stations including Blackfriars and Southwark. However, I recommend arriving at St. Paul’s station and walking across the Millenium Bridge. This offers you an amazing view of the museum and of the Thames River.

Tate Modern

Inside the Tate Modern

The building used to be a power station, so it is quite large. However, don’t let the size scare you away from visiting. The museum is well laid out and has elevators and escalators to every floor, so you never have to climb the stairs unless you want to.

Tate Modern

Unless you are at the museum to see a specific exhibition, I would start on the first floor and work you way up. Then you can cross to the other side of the museum and work your way down.

Tate Modern

Don’t forget to look at the structure of the building as it is essentially part of the art. This is best done from the bridges between the two gallery spaces. You can do so at each level and get a different perspective. Also, go down to the ground floor and look up. It is then you get a sense of how large the space really is.

Tate Modern

What I really enjoyed about the Tate Modern is the size. I never felt I couldn’t see the art and even though there was a line to get in, it was never crowded inside.

Tate Modern

Not all the art was modern either! There was a room with Mark Rothko piece and he was inspired by Monet’s large art. So, there was one of Monet’s Water Lillies right next to the room!

Tate Modern

The other thing I really loved about the Tate Modern is that the space allows for large art to be on exhibition. For some reason, large pieces of art appeal to me. It’s probably why I like Monet so much!

Tate Modern

Tate Modern

See St. Pauls

This is one of the great unknowns of the Tate Modern, but it offers stunning views of St. Pauls! If you head to the 3rd floor gift shop outside the visiting exhibition space. There is a smoking balcony there and you can see St. Pauls. You can also see the Millenium Bridge. The sun was shining the day I went and the man next to me said to someone, “St. Pauls is glistening. That rarely happens.” It is definitely a sight to see.

Tate Modern

Have you been to the Tate? What is your favorite piece there?

Qatar, Travel

Art in the Qatar Desert: Richard Serra’s East-West/West-East

February 1, 2016

Art in the Qatar Desert, Richard Serra Over this last weekend, I was a chaperone on an overnight camping trip in the Qatar desert. The students had picked the area under the Richard Serra sculpture East-West/West-East, which I had not been to yet. The area of Qatar that it is located in is called Zekreet. It does not take long to drive out there unless you are bringing a van load of students in a non off-roading vehicle. As we bumped along the sometimes bumpy and rocky desert, the beauty and enormity of the sculpture became present. It almost looks as if an alien ship used these four pillars to dock their ship and left them behind when they decided Qatar was too hot to stay in. The surrounding landscape is also what many movies have used to depict an alien planet. The sculpture both takes over the landscape but also blends right in. The light changes the desert and the sculpture throughout the day. The photos were taken from the early afternoon to evening and then early the next morning as the sun came up.

Art in the Qatar Desert, Richard Serra

Art in the Desert, Richard Serra

Art in the Qatar Desert, Richard Serra

Art in the Qatar Desert, Richard Serra

Art in the Qatar Desert, Richard Serra

Art in the Qatar Desert, Richard Serra

Art in the Qatar Desert, Richard Serra

Art in the Qatar Desert, Richard Serra

 

Art in the Qatar Desert, Richard Serra

Art in the Qatar Desert, Richard Serra

Art in the Qatar Desert, Richard Serra

Art in the Qatar Desert, Richard Serra

Richard Serra and the Qatar Museums wanted this piece to be public art. You can drive right up to the sculpture and touch it. The steel is developing a patina quickly in the desert climate. What I like most about Richard Serra’s work is that it gives you a sense of space, whether the piece is something you can walk right up to or a piece that you can into. East-West/West-East isn’t the only Richard Serra piece in Qatar. 7 is located at the end of the Museum of Islāmic Art Park on the corniche in Doha.

Getting there: As I witnessed this weekend, you may not need a four-wheeled drive vehicle to get to the Richard Serra sculpture, but you might want one to be more comfortable. At different times of the day, the sculpture looks different, so keep that in mind. Also, if you want photos with no one else in them, go early or late in the day as people were visiting it all day. Luckily you can now search for East-West/West-East on a Google map and find driving directions. We headed out of Doha on the Dukhan Highway and exited at the Cuban Hospital and drove out to Zekreet village and approached from the west, but you can approach from the east. Here is a link to the Google map location.

Art, Europe, Italy, Museums, Travel

Museo Fortuny in Venice

September 14, 2015

Museo Fortuny

If you haven’t noticed by now, I am a museum nut! I will go to every museum possible on a trip. Now, I am not a spend hours in them kind of person. I am a big believer in art fatigue and information overload. If I spend too long in a museum, I begin not to appreciate what I see. That being said, I still love them. Museo Fortuny in Venice was no exception. So in an effort to see one more museum, I took off to Museo Fortuny the morning of my flight back to Qatar. I knew I had just enough time to get to the museum when it opened and spend an hour there before I needed to return to my hotel to collect my luggage and haul myself to the airport.

Once again, I hadn’t done tons of research on this museum. I had just read about it in the guidebook and saw a banner for it on one of my strolls through the narrow streets of Venice. I did not know that Museo Fortuny was only open when they have a temporary exhibit installed, which the guidebook did not mention. It was a good thing that the museum was running the exhibit “Proportio” to run concurrently with the Venice Biennale. The exhibit was designed to explore the sense of proportion in art.  The pieces ranged from small building size to miniature models. Other pieces felt like they were giving you a sense of the rooms proportions. The exhibition was amazing, and every floor brought a new sense of proportion and feeling to the rooms that they inhabited. My favorite was the all white room that had very minimal art in it. That being said, I must have been too mesmerized by this floor as I only took two photos in this room. One photo is the one below of that is of the windows with the white curtains. The room with the mirrors and the writing on the walls is the “Selfie Studio” and you can see me taking the photo in the mirror.

Museo Fortuny

Museo Fortuny

Museo Fortuny

Museo Fortuny

Museo Fortuny

 

Museo Fortuny

I really wish the museum was open during non-temporary exhibit times with it’s own collection. The description on the website and the pictures I have seen online look amazing. Apparently, Fortuny had a great collection of fashion, textiles, photos and paintings. I particularly love historic fashions and would have enjoyed seeing those. The website does not explain why the permanent collection is never exhibited though. I will have to watch and see if they ever plan to do so.

The museum also had some amazing views from the windows and the ground floor garden.

Museo Fortuny

Museo Fortuny

 

Museo Fortuny

 

So if you are planning a visit to Venice before the end of November, then run to the Museo Fortuny so you don’t miss the current exhibition. Then make your way of over to the Venice Biennale. You can see some of my favorite pieces from that exhibition in this post.

Have you been to the Museo Fortuny? What was showing when you went?

 

Art, Europe, Italy

Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition

August 17, 2015

Venice BiennaleOne of the main reasons for going to Venice this summer was the Venice Biennale . The Biennale takes place every year and odd years are art and even years are architecture. Much of the art is exhibited by country in specific pavilions that have been built over the years. There are two main locations in Venice, one is the Gardini and the other is Arsenale. There are other locations throughout Venice. It currently runs through November 22, 2015. It is open every day, except Mondays, from 10-6. I would highly recommend you buy your tickets online and print them so you do not have to stand in line, as the ticket office does not open until 10. Since I am not an expert on art, I will just give you a photo essay of my favorite pieces in the exhibition. I will say that many of the exhibits were a full sensory experience with sound and smells, which is hard to convey here.

Venice Biennale

Venice Biennale

Venice Biennale

Venice Biennale

Venice BiennaleVenice Biennale

Venice Biennale

Venice BiennaleVenice Biennale

Venice Biennale

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