A couple of blogs this week have inspired me to step back into Tate Liverpool. Arriving in the UK at dawn after the 21 hour journey plus the 5 hours in transit has almost ruined London for me. It is a hit-the-ground-running (on empty) experience. In 2010 it was difficult to do the Tate Modern justice before it was time to head north, so I ended up really disliking it. I hated the grey concrete, the hordes of pushy and sniggering school kids, the lack of seats. Even the clever curatorial pairing of unlike works (with explanation) seemed too obvious.

Ah, but 2011 brought the Tate Liverpool! Another story. A pleasant train ride up from Manchester – I love the regional cities and the railways. The Albert Dock is a lovely mix of old old, refurbished old and brand new. The new museum was a week away from opening.

United Kingdom Art Gallery

United Kingdom Modern Art Gallery

The scale of the buildings around the dock was emphasised by boats moored in and around them. Part of the show perhaps.

Tate Liverpool United Kingdom Tate Liverpool United Kingdom

The Alice in Wonderland feel of Robert Therrien sculptures on the ground floor were immediate crowd pleasers. The stack of dishes were angled so that as you walked around them they seemed to spin and topple. Faster walking made them spin and wobble more, almost to the point of vertigo. Fairground fun already and we have just arrived.

Tate Liverpool United KingdomTate Liverpool United Kingdom

These snapshots of Yayoi Kusama‘s work surfaced when prompted by a pingback from getloworld who had seen her work at the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam. Mirrors and circles.

Modern Art Gallery United Kingdom

There were lots of other sculptures spread throughout the expansive pink rooms as well as smaller spaces, and probably just as notable were the people, really engaged people. It was almost like an interactive museum display – lively conversations, sounds of delight and surprise, calls of “come and look at this!” Art at its best – I have never experienced anything like it.

United Kingdom Modern Art GalleryThe glimpses from the windows were like the slices of Sydney Harbour visible from the Art Gallery of New South Wales – a water view as a contrast.

Tate Liverpool United KingdomPerhaps the hordes of school kids were there, but more connected with the artwork.  And there was more – a mammoth Magritte retrospective. Unfortunately, my offsider in the coffee shop did not enjoy the Tate Liverpool as much as I did. It was quite a long wait.

So thanks to two colleagues. To Lorena at getloworld who posted the pingback on my post. And to Andy Parkinson whose blog on a gallery experience with Patrick Heron got me thinking.

What happy gallery experience is lurking in your memory? Is it not so happy, about someone waiting in the coffee shop?

0 thoughts on “HOORAY 4 Tate Liverpool!

  1. seascapesaus says:

    Just a visitor I’m afraid, but certainly lucky to have made a couple of trips overseas in the last few years and include the UK. So much to see.

  2. notes to the milkman says:

    I remember seeing Robert Therrien’s plate stack. I was told by the lady at the cloakroom that children would dare each other to run round them until they fell over from the effect of looking at them. I tried recording walking round them on my mobile but I couldn’t keep my hand steady enough to get the full impact.

  3. seascapesaus says:

    Good idea to try the recording, it’s funny how we want to capture something so elusive. Wasn’t the experience an amazing surprise? Lovely comment from the cloakroom lady – confirms my memories of that wonderful gallery!

  4. kopparrox says:

    It sounds amazing! It feels like ages since I was in a huge gallery or museum, maybe the time has come…

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