June 15, 2016  —  by

Art Changes, We Change: The new Tate Modern

credit: Tate

The Switch House – Tate Modern’s new extension – is a dramatic twisted pyramid that fits perfectly alongside the rest of Herzog & de Meuron’s original conversion of the Bankside power station. The structure is punctuated with moments of daylight penetrating through interesting slots, and the lattice brickwork is equally remarkable. The long, broad staircases of the first four floors allow visitors glimpses of floors above, and the 360-degree outdoor viewing gallery provides a suitable summit for such a pleasurable construction.

The additional space also enables Tate Modern to showcase more exhibitions, films, performances and events than ever before. There are currently four BMW Tate Live performances on show – from Roman Ondák’s artificial queue to Alexandra Pirici and Manuel Pelmus’s live site-specific work exploring the permanent collection – a number made possible by the Switch House. The £260million extension increases the overall gallery space by 60%, thus enabling the Tate to showcase a more diverse and engaging collection, ensuring that many more female and international artists are represented (300 artists from 50 countries). The familiar Matisses, Rothkos and Picassos will still draw in visitors, but new approaches to art that originate from further afield than merely Paris and New York make the Tate Modern a truly contemporary gallery. There is now an opportunity to show parts of the collection that the Tate previously had not been able to, including new acquisitions, and explore relationships between artworks.

The Switch House’s opening weekend takes place 17th-19th June 2016