Skip to content

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (at Tate Modern)

October 20, 2010

As our first “Trip of the Year”, we went to Tate Modern in London. We were asked to find three pieces (or more) of work – good, bad and ugly.  Here are my three, and the notes I made from the gallery…


Francis Bacon –  (esp. – Triptych August 1972) I love his style of painting and the way he doesn’t use the paint too thick. The subject matter is quite dark and deep. The figures are abstracted, yet familiar. You can sense the pain and despair in the work. I love the way the colours merge together and blend well. Interesting and can look at for ages. Mean something, and you can take something from it.

I also liked pieces by David Shrigley as the drawings are simple and funny (“Santa Claus is not evil. There is no need to defend myself against him”). It’s fun and a bit dark at times, but I find it refreshing and honest.


Mark Rothko I really don’t like his work at all and it is just plain boring and unimpressive. I found there was no interaction with it, and it reminds me of hotel artwork. All the pieces looked quite similar of his, just rough rectangles of colour. It strikes me as the kind of art, that there is a big long spiel about, and its meant to take ages to make, but really I think he could make one in about 30 minutes.


At least some of the colours are fairly nice, and although it’s boring, it’s not in your face or truly abhorrent on the eye.

Barnett Newman (Adam and Eve – two canvas’) equally as boring as Rothko’s work in my eyes.



Agnes Martins (the whole horrible room of whatever it is not just one specific piece) Art is made to provoke an emotion or reaction and mine was just one of…hate. Utter hate and depression. The whole room of pieces was blank, bland pastel colour on canvas. I couldn’t even walk in the room, it had a vibe of…”Art is dead”, a real feeling of nothingness all collected in one place. It was horrible. I love colour, shapes, ideas…emotion it art. I found no interaction or relation to the work, which is why i don’t like this work.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 27, 2011 6:29 pm

    I like your notes on Rothko. Very funny. Since alot of abstract artists are trying to evoke emotion with the basic elements of art (just color in this case) they’d probably be thrilled to hear that they make you want to cry! I visited the Tate last year and experienced similar feelings of good, bad and ugly since the Tate seems more apt to present that really experimental stuff that catches you off guard. They had a wing of the museum under construction and I started wondering if the empty rooms filled with construction mess were a secret exhibit or something.

  2. March 1, 2011 4:28 pm

    Thanks for the comment! and yes, I’m sure they’d say any emotion is better than nothing! I went to Tate Britain recently, to see Susan Hiller’s exhibition – and it’s well worth a visit! it was pretty big and had lots of interesting pieces, including film and instillation. Hopefully will be uploading some more gallery trips soon!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: