Since the ‘Brit-Art’ movement in the ‘90s, created by artists such as Damien Hirst and Tracy Emin, London has become the most important art scene in the world. Artists are being treated as stars and their newest creations are most likely to be the headline in the next day’s papers. The annual Turner Prize – an award for contemporary art – is being transmitted on prime time TV, and galleries, such as the Tate Modern set the trend. Without them, the MoMa exhibition in Berlin would have never had been so successful.
The biggest and most often visited ‘temple of culture’ in London would be the British Museum, built in 1759 and later modernised by Sir Norman Foster. Artefacts and works of art from all over the world are displayed in over 100 rooms of exhibition-space that often shows ‘specials’ such as until January 2005 there will be an extra exhibition about the Sudan.
Modern Trends of contemporary art can be found on other side of the Thames. In the Tate Modern, the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron have refurbished a massive power station, in which three floors of constantly changing collections have been ordered thematically. Until the end of January 2005 a comprehensive film and video show with the title “Time Zones” is being shown, next to the special Bruce Naumann exhibition, which will carry on until the end of March 2005. You must also visit the famous basement bookshop.
Across the river, in London’s trendy Shoreditch area is one of the best Brit-Art private galleries, Jay Joplin’s White Cube. This really is where anyone who is anyone in the ‘modern scene’ gets together for monthly private viewings to discuss the newest pieces on the wall, floor or ceiling, by the most significant ambassadors of Modern British Art.
An automobile-related exhibition can be seen at the Design Museum (also near Tower Bridge), where until the 28th November the show “E-Type” is on; the story of Britain’s most famous sporting car. At the 25th of November, Ian Callum, the chef designer of Jaguar will visit the Design Museum to discuss the future of car design.
The British Museum can be found under www.british-museum.ac.uk ; The Tate Britain and Modern Tate share www.tate.org.uk . The White Cube is www.whitecube.com and further information on the Design Museum is available on www.designmuseum.org .
Text: Jan Baedeker
Photos: Benjamin Knapp Voith / Classic Driver
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