Tate Liverpool: Try it Even if Modern Art isn’t Your Cup of Tea

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Karen Bryan editor of Europe a la Carte explains why she thinks you’d enjoy visiting the Tate Liverpool.

My visit to the Tate Liverpool was one of the highlights of my trip to Liverpool in February 2010. Now I’m no art critic or huge fan of modern art but I believe that most people can get something out of the Tate Liverpool if they give it a go and keep an open mind.

The Tate Liverpool in Albert Dock is one of the most popular Liverpool free attractions. It is situated on the banks of the River Mersey, a few minutes walk from the main shopping area and Lime Street rail station. It’s fantastic that there’s no entry fee, although some specific exhibitions may have an admission charge. I was disappointed that I wasn’t allowed to take photos anywhere except the lobby, which contains a very imposing alabaster sculpture, Jacob and the Angel by Jacob Epstein.

The exhibitions at Tate Liverpool change regularly. I spent my time at the DLA Piper Series: This is Sculpture (free entry) on the first floor which runs until 1 April 2011.

The first thing that caught my eye was a urinal lying on its side “Fountain” by Duchamp. Then there was something that looked like a disused fusebox by Rachel Whitehead. I thought is this art or just items from an architectural salvage yard?

However unperturbed and in the knowledge that art appreciation is very subjective and personal, some of the installations did strike a chord. The Bill Woodrow piece “Well Done” depicting Africa as a piece of bacon sizzling in the colonial frying pan was my favourite. Picasso’s “Weeping Woman” gave the impression that you were looking at her straight on and in profile simultaneously. The Belgian artist Magritt’s sculpture “Skyhead” certainly looked like it had its head in the clouds. The defunct castration contraption “Little Death Machine” by the Chapman brothers was rather disturbing.

So if you’re in town, do give the Tate Liverpool a try. I reckon that you’ll laugh, despair, wonder and be indignant at some of pieces on display but you’ll most likely enjoy the experience.

You’ll find the other Liverpool attractions Mersey Maritime and International Slavery Museums just around the corner from the Tate Liverpool and there’s a good selection of cafes and restaurants in Albert Dock.

For more hotels and restaurants in Liverpool have a look at our site.

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7 Comments

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  2. Pingback: Europe travel planning | Liverpool attractions | | Europe Travel Tips | Europe a la Carte Blog

  3. Andrew – Thanks for your comment. I do hope that reading my post might encourage some new visitors to the Tate Liverpool. It’s all too easy to dismiss modern art without giving it a decent shot.

  4. My 13 year old and I are planning a trip there next week. We want to see the Picasso exhibit, as well as explore the rest of the museum. Any tips on how much time we should pla to spend there? Thanks!

  5. Abbie – I spent about one hour at the Tate Modern just looking at an exhibition on one floor. I personally prefer not to try to take in too much at galleries and museums as I find it overwhelming.

  6. An interesting selection which shows the (very) wide aspects of sculptural practice. The so-called ‘curating’ by Craig-Martin is dismal – it is just ‘let’s just put in one of everything’. There is no flow around the exhibition or tension/comparison between the works – just lots of ‘stuff’. Despite this there are a number of nice aorks and it is worth a visit in any case – even if just for a relaxing drink on the waterfront….

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