Museum Walk: A lesson in Cubism at Tate Modern, London

Tate Modern was on my must-do list for our London trip. It is home to several of Pablo Picasso – the father of Modern Art’s paintings etching and sketches.  The art gallery houses UK’s largest collection of modern and contemporary art including Kandinsky, Dali, Picasso, Braque and many more.

Outside Suburbia - Tate Modern

Tate Modern, London

In December 1992 the Tate Trustees announced their intention to create a separate gallery for international modern and contemporary art in London. The former Bankside Power Station was selected as the new gallery site in 1994. The following year, Swiss architects Herzog & De Meuron were appointed to convert the building into a gallery, their design retained much of the original character of the building. They turned the Turbine Hall, which once housed the electricity generators of the old power station, into a social space – a place for people. Running parallel to the Turbine Hall was the boiler house, which became the galleries that run the full length of the building and from where there are various vantage points that allow you to look down into the hall.

What is Cubism?

Cubism the first abstract style of modern art abandoned the traditional perspective drawing and displayed many views of a subject at one time.  In Picasso’s Nude woman in a red armchair do you see the face is a double or metamorphic image: the right side can also be seen as the face of a lover in profile, kissing on the lips of the woman on the left.

Outside Suburbia - Tate Modern

Picasso reworked the theme of the female nude, he revised the traditional ideal of beauty with violence, subjecting the body to a repeated assault in paint. He paints the female figure as a raw, sexualized arrangement of orifices, breasts and limbs.

Picasso at Tate Modern London

Elements of Cubism are Geometricity, Conceptual instead of perceptual reality, Passage(the overlapping of planes), Simultaneity (different points of view made visible on one plane or approximation of the fourth dimension i.e. Time).

Outside Suburbia - Tate Modern

A few more artworks from Tate Modern, London

Outside Suburbia - Tate Modern
Outside Suburbia - Tate Modern
Outside Suburbia - Tate Modern
Outside Suburbia - Tate Modern
Outside Suburbia - Tate Modern
Outside Suburbia - Tate Modern

How to Paint like Picasso

See this short video by Tate on how to Paint Like Picasso and make your own work of Cubism art.

Additional Details

Admission to Tate Modern in London is free, except for special exhibitions and can be reached by tube, bus or boat.
We took the tube to the nearest London Underground stations. You can get to any of the stations below to get to Tate Modern

  • Southwark (Jubilee Line, 600 meters approximately)
  • Blackfriars (District and Circle Line, 800 meters approximately) has now been reopened
  • St Pauls (Central Line, 1,100 meters approximately)

I would love to go see Picasso’s first Cubism painting Les Demoiselles d’Avignon at the Museum of Modern Art in New York someday! What is your favorite Picasso painting?

You might also like:
Best Modern & Contemporary Art Galleries and Museums in London


8 thoughts on “Museum Walk: A lesson in Cubism at Tate Modern, London”

  1. Great post! I recently discovered you on Instagram and have been following your blog. I have been to the Tate Modern before but plan to take my 6 year old for the first time next week. Hope you enjoyed the rest of your trip to London!

  2. Not a great fan of cubism or modern art. You may call me old fashioned and retrograde, but I can’t see much beauty in it. Not to say it doesn’t have its own merits, but when it comes to taste … “de gustibus non disputandum”

  3. Aw man, I missed this when I was in London a few years ago! Now I know for next time!

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