Tate modern’s collection

Subject: 🎨 Art
Type: Informative Essay
Pages: 6
Word count: 1664
Topics: Painting, Art History, Modernism, Tourism
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Tate Modern is a museum in London that contains the gallery of modern art. Tate has the art collections from 1900 to date. There are various primary displays for collections including Start Display, In the Studio, Materials, and Objects, Living Cities, Performer and Participant, Media Networks, Between Object and Architecture and Artist and Society. This essay highlights some of the artworks in Tate; and how the representation of the artwork affects their interpretation.

The first artwork is Sheela Gowda’s Behold. The art comprises of human hair and car bumpers. Gowda was inspired by the human hair knotted around the bumpers of cars in the year 2009 to come up with Behold; the reason for tying the hair around the car bumpers is to prevent bad luck (Blazwick & Wilson, 2012). The source of the hair is the local temple; it is cut as to be used as a sacrifice during the time of fulfillment of sacred vows. In today’s society, the hairs are used in the production of wigs.

Gowda used about four thousand meters of hair to create mesh forms that hang from the ceiling and wrapped around bumpers of steel cars. It is surprising that the brittle hair supports the heavier metal. Hands are used to weave the hair, and the approach of the artist presents the significance of manual labor in improving the global world and connecting the world. Behold’s representation affects its interpretation in that it encourages the use of manual labor in the society to accomplish particular tasks (Leahy, 2013). Another significance interpretation of the art is that it exhibits the importance of using skills in performing large tasks, for instance, the use of properly knit hair to lift heavy car bumpers.

The second art in Tate is materials and objects. The room explores the significance of materials and objects in understanding how artists make use of them in coming up with various creations. The room comprises of quotes of artists and films that explain the use of different objects in the Tate Collection. Artists have explored new ways of using modern technology in coming up with important objects for study (Leahy, 2013). In this room of material and objects exploration, one can see and touch the objects used by contemporary and modern artists. It is crucial for people to understand the reason for choosing certain particular objects and how they are associated with one’s intentions and goals.

One of the arts seen in the material and objects room is Fountain 1917. The artist under the Fountain is Marcel Duchamp that aimed at promoting and exhibiting all types of modern art. The committee rejected the art, Fountain because it did not present any form of uniqueness. The artist decided to withdraw his membership from the Society. After a few weeks, an article was written in defense of the Fountain. The artist saw that there was hope for the art to be recognized and appreciated; he improved it with paintings and made it unique and exciting to view. In the end, everyone looked and said that the art was beautiful.

Duchamp encouraged the production of Fountain’s replicas that would ensure the flow of ideas to most people in the world; he believed that there was the likelihood of the survival of ideas presented by visionary individuals in the society (Leahy, 2013). The representation of the fountain is crucial to its interpretation as it shows the importance of appreciating any form of art because there is always a story behind every creation. In addition, the artist of the fountain encourages the preservation of one’s original ideas because other generations can use the ideas to enhance their knowledge and skills.

The third artistic material is the Red Flocked Wall made by Keith Sonnier. The artistic creation is a wall-hung that comprises of red fibrous flocking that has layers covering them. The color and texture of the photographic material presented a landscape of the earth. The representation of the Red Flocked Wall plays a significant role in understanding the nature of land and shows different dimensions of the surface according to people’s perceptions. The fourth artistic creation is Liquid Crystal Environment by Gustav Metzger. The use of chemical reactions and unstable materials is necessary for the formation of artistic materials. The projection of light liquid crystal glass slides is responsible for the creation of the Liquid Crystal Environment. Metzger’s creations are outstanding in performances like dances. The artist appreciates the importance of technology in developing his traditional skills in coming up with exceptional artistic creations.

Liquid Crystal Environment is designed using liquid crystals that are sensitive to heat, inserted between slides, and then placed into projectors. The following step is the rotation of the slides to bring about movement within the liquid. The continuous heating and cooling of crystals cause the change in color of the liquid (Leahy, 2013). The various projected patterns ensure that there is screen projection in the space; there is the use of computer programs that provide efficiency and quality output. The representation of the Liquid Crystal Environment is important in appreciating the advancement in technology to create important artistic work.

Another relevant section of Tate Modern is texture and photography. The room provides various approaches to how texture and form in photography relate. The works demonstrated by the ability of the camera to produce quality images (Dean, Donnellan & Pratt, 2014). The works of the various artists show the ability of mechanical lenses to see things that are beyond the eye of human beings. There are important aspects learned from the artistic creations including the capacity of the camera to abstract and isolate surfaces and landscape section of the natural environment. Some artists presented the use of enlarging, distortion, and reinvention of images in rooms covered with darkness.

There are various artworks displayed in texture and photography room. The first one is a caption of a Rope by Karasz. The artist has a good experience in the exploration of structures and qualities of things in daily life (Dean, Donnellan & Pratt, 2014). Using photography, the artist decided to show both the visible and invisible things that are not seen easily by humans. Every aspect of the image is created from the balance of shadows and light across object’s surface. The second art is Solange 1957 created by Guy Bourdin. The image represents the wife of the artist, Solange, who passed on after ten years of marriage. Solange, according to the picture stood a little further from the camera and leaned on the wall. The image is outstanding and has various effects on the background.

The third image is Untitled 1952, which is a white and black photograph by Guy Bourdin. The photograph has its entire frame taken up by the winding of pain brushstroke that moves into the image center (Dean, Donnellan & Pratt, 2014). The focus removes every contextual detail, hence, leading to an abstract piece. The artist is well known for fashion photography. The representation of photography and texture is important because it helps in understanding the circumstance in which the artist created the artwork; an artist can use various textures and an accurate method of photography to portray a particular feeling.

Another artwork is Collage that entails the combination of materials and objects to come up with a single unique artwork. In the past, various artists like Juan Fris and Pablo started by cutting small pieces from newspapers and creating various compositions; the technique developed and led to the creation of creative artworks on a daily basis (Dean, Donnellan & Pratt, 2014). Artists started by creating small collages into more complex, three-dimensional compositions. The idea of collages has led to a combination of different materials to communicate to the society.

In the collages room, there are several artworks. The first one is Pablo Picasso’s Glass, Newspaper Vieux Marc and a Guitar that was created in the year 1913. The artwork demonstrated paper fragments and objects combined on a table. The objects are displayed from different dimensions. Secondly, is Man Ray’s Cadeau that consists of a heated flat iron that is transformed into a unique object by adding fourteen nails.The third artwork is Picasso’s still life picture; the picture represents the transformation of a traditional still life picture into a three-dimensional painting.The painting has a small sideboard, beer glass, sausage slices and cheese slices.  The significance of the collage is that it encourages artists’ ability to choose from a variety of objects (Dean, Donnellan & Pratt, 2014).

The final collage is Kurt Schwitters’ picture that comprised of two small dogs. The artist started with the combination of discarded objects to create an artwork in the year 1920, in Germany. After several years, the artist added materials such as newspapers, theater tickets, two dogs and a box. The various layers of the collage represented the journey of Schwitters travel into exile. Collages’ representation by artists symbolizes the growth in the industry; for instance, there is improvement of simple to more complex compositions, which embrace the advancements in technology.


In conclusion, from the above discussion, it is evident that Tate Modern is an important archive for the display of artworks. The essay has focused on the various artworks at Boiler House and the different approaches to representation. Various objects and materials in the art showrooms enabled visitors to understand the source of various artistic compositions. One of the important aspects is the use of collages to pass a particular message to the community. Collages are important because they provide the artists with a variety of options and they can create a unique composition from a combination of any objects. Tate Modern is an important museum that attracts individuals from all parts of the world. The museum encourages the exchange of cultural ideas across different regions of the world. The advancement in technology has helped in the development of various aspects of the art industry; artists are embracing new methods of presenting their ideas and leaving the traditional approaches.

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  1. Blazwick, I., & Wilson, S. (Eds.). (2012). Tate Modern: the handbook. Univ of California Press.
  2. Dean, C., Donnellan, C., & Pratt, A. C. (2014). Tate Modern: Pushing the limits of regeneration. City, Culture and Society, 1(2), 79-87.
  3. Leahy, H. R. (2013). Gallery space in the twenty-first century. Reshaping Museum Space: Architecture, Design, Exhibitions, 108.
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