Tate Britain is the national gallery of British art from 1500 to the present day, from the Tudors to the Turner Prize.
Open everyday 10.00-17.50
Open until 22.00 on the first Friday of each month
Closed: 24, 25, 26 December
Entry is free except for major exhibitions
- International Council of Museums
Tate holds the greatest collection of British art in the world, including works by Blake, Constable, Epstein, Gainsborough, Gilbert & George, Hatoum, Hirst, Hockney, Hodgkin, Hogarth, Moore, Rossetti, Sickert, Spencer, Stubbs and Turner. The gallery is the world centre for the understanding and enjoyment of British art, and helps promote interest in British art internationally.
Photography, Performing Arts, Fine Art, Film and Media, Archives
Key artists and exhibits
- Gilbert & George
David Tremlett Drawing for Free Thinking
- 19 September 2011 — 31 December 2016 *on now
Drawing for Free Thinking is a new wall drawing for Tate Britain, designed to wrap around the Manton stairwell. Inspired by the long tradition of twentieth-century constructivism and by David Tremlett’s involvement in conceptual art in the 1970s, Drawing for Free Thinking consists of broad blocks of strong colour, straight lines, squares and rectangles. It explores floor plans and architectural features the artist has encountered at the gallery such as doorways or windows abstracted into geometric shapes. Tremlett and his team of assistants work with pastel crayons which they rub directly onto the wall with the palms of their hands.
BP Spotlight: Keith Arnatt
- 11 March 2013 — 11 August 2016 *on now
Keith Arnatt was a British conceptual artist who used photography as a way of documenting perfromative acts that question the status of art and the role of the artist. Using recent acquisitions, this display will show the range of Arnatt’s work and his singular use of photography, focusing on his work of the 1970s and 1980s.
BP Walk through British Art
- 1 July 2014 — 31 December 2016 *on now
The BP Walk through British Art offers a circuit of Tate Britain’s unparalleled collection from its beginnings to its end. This ‘walk through time’ has been arranged to ensure that the collection’s full historical range, from 1545 to the present, is always on show. There are no designated themes or movements; instead, you can see a range of art made at any one moment in an open conversational manner.
As part of the BP Walk through British Art there are also two galleries on the main floor which are devoted to Henry Moore, one of Britain’s pre-eminent sculptors. The rooms explore Moore’s close personal relationship with Tate, investigate his working processes and highlight his public sculpture of the 1950s and 1960s.
The BP Walk through British Art also includes The Clore Gallery which is dedicated to the Turner Collection and houses the artist’s bequest to the nation. A room of works by Turner’s great rival and contemporary, John Constable, are also on display. The upper floor of the Clore gallery showcases a changing selection of representative works from Tate’s outstanding collection of paintings, watercolours, drawings and prints by the visionary artist William Blake.
- Family friendly
BP Spotlight: Tracey Emin and Francis Bacon
- 21 March 2015 — 1 June 2016 *on now
Tracey Emin’s installation My Bed 1998 returns to Tate Britain after it first came to public attention when shown in the 1999 Turner Prize exhibition.
It is displayed here alongside six of the artist’s recent figure drawings, as well as two oil paintings by Francis Bacon selected by Emin. Her installation, as Bacon’s paintings do, retains a strong sense of the lived presence and memory traces of past events.
By virtue of bringing the domestic into the public sphere, without directly representing specific events, My Bed is forcefully and compellingly suggestive of personal narratives.
- 9 October 2015 — 13 March 2016 *on now
Frank Auerbach (b 1931, Berlin) has made some of the most resonant and inventive paintings in recent times, both of people and of the urban landscapes near his studio in Camden Town.
Encompassing around 70 paintings and drawings, the first six rooms of the exhibition have been sparsely arranged, decade by decade, working closely with the artist. The works in the last two rooms have been selected in consultation with the art historian Catherine Lampert (who has sat for Auerbach since 1978) and they will comprise clusters of work with similar subjects or structures, each piece resolved in a wholly fresh and physical way.
BP Spotlight: Anwar Shemza
- 12 October 2015 — 1 October 2016 *on now
Anwar Jalal Shemza (1928–85) moved to London in 1956, leaving an established career as a writer and painter in Lahore, Pakistan.
In Britain Shemza abandoned his illustrative and figurative approach and developed vigorous compositions that fused calligraphy and aspects of Islamic architecture with Western abstraction. He repeatedly revisited subjects, including the walls and gates of Lahore, the Arabic letter ‘Meem’, and plant roots.
His last series of work directly related to notions of belonging in the Pakistani diaspora.
BP Spotlight: Jo Spence
- 19 October 2015 — 1 October 2016 *on now
Jo Spence (1934–92) was a photographer who explored and challenged the way in which women were represented.
Drawing on personal experiences and the use of performance, she commented on broader political issues. This display showcases the vast breadth of Spence’s ground-breaking work.
The photographs and archival material on view relate to her collaboration with the socialist-feminist collective Hackney Flashers, her involvement in developing a form of photo therapy, and her examination of her experience with breast cancer.
BP Spotlight: Hockney’s Double Portraits
- 19 October 2015 — 1 October 2016 *on now
On display for the first time ever in the UK, George Lawson and Wayne Sleep 1972–5 by acclaimed artist David Hockney, will sit alongside two of Hockney’s other celebrated large-scale double portraits in this awe-inspiring display.
Created between 1970 and 1977, the three paintings portray couples or friends in their homes. Presented together, they demonstrate Hockney’s fascination with people’s relationships, showcasing his ability to combine psychological intensity with a stylistic coolness.
Vanilla and Concrete
- 9 November 2015 — 19 June 2016 *on now
As part of the Art Now series, Vanilla and Concrete presents new and recent work by emerging artists Marie Lund, Rallou Panagiotou and Mary Ramsden who use painting and sculpture to give new meanings to the everyday.
Marie Lund’s sculptures are inspired by the human impact on common spaces and objects, changing the way in which they are perceived.
Rallou Panagiotou takes interest in life’s non-essential ‘luxury’ items, from make-up and jewellery to a cocktail straw. Considering these objects as artificial extensions of the human body, Panagiotou investigates how they define and express the individual within a wider cultural context.
Mary Ramsden’s paintings hint to the smudges on digital touch-screens. Displaying her works both individually and in groups to emulate multiple windows opened on a computer screen, Ramsden explores how painting operates in today’s digital world.
- Family friendly
BP Spotlight: Art and Alcohol
- 16 November 2015 — 1 October 2016 *on now
Since William Hogarth satirised the Georgian craze for gin, artists have explored Britain’s relationship with alcohol – as social lubricant, or as factor in social or family breakdown. This fascinating display examines the role of alcohol in British art from the 19th century to modern day.
The display contrasts two works from Tate’s collection; George Cruikshank’s Worship of Bacchus, a critical panting illustrating in one huge canvas the effects of drink on society, and Gilbert & George’s Drinking Sculpture, a wall-mounted montage of photographs (progressively blurred) of drinkers in a London bar.
Cutting across time, generations, class and gender, reflecting changing tastes and attitudes, alcohol and its consequences are shown to exert a catalytic effect. Never have the nation’s drinking habits been so captivating.
Susan Philipsz: War Damaged Musical Instruments
- 21 November 2015 — 3 April 2016 *on now
War Damaged Musical Instruments features fourteen recordings of British and German brass and wind instruments damaged in conflicts over the last 200 years.
The notes recorded are based on the tones of the military bugle call ‘The Last Post’, but the tune is fragmented to such an extent that it is almost unrecognisable. The tune signalled to lost and wounded soldiers that it was safe to return to base and is used today as a final farewell in military funerals and Remembrance ceremonies.
- Family friendly
Artist and Empire
- 25 November 2015 — 10 April 2016 *on now
This exhibition will be the first major presentation of the art associated with the British Empire from the sixteenth century to the present day.
Bringing together extraordinary and unexpected artworks from UK collections, both public and private, it will explore how diverse artists around the world responded to the experience of empire.
Comprising sculpture, painting and works on paper, the exhibition will examine the role of art in communicating power relations and cross-cultural translation at different periods of British history. It will consider how the empire shaped some of the themes, ways of making and patterns of collecting which defined British art in the past and which continue to have resonance today.
Conceptual Art in Britain: 1964–1979
- 12 April — 29 August 2016
Conceptual Art in Britain: 1964–1979 traces the course of conceptual art in Britain from its origin in the 1960s until the late 1970s – encompassing a defining period in British history that takes in the first Labour government of Harold Wilson and the election of Margaret Thatcher.
The exhibition gathers together artists who set out to think beyond the limits of traditional art, predominantly using text and photography to place in question the material, aesthetic and philosophical conditions and purpose of art, and which in certain cases led to a direct engagement with society and issues of identity politics.
Painting with Light
- 11 May — 25 September 2016
Tate Britain presents this first major exhibition to celebrate the spirited conversation between early photography and British art. It brings together photographs and paintings including Pre-Raphaelite, Aesthetic and British Impressionist works.
Spanning 75 years across the Victorian and Edwardian ages, the exhibition opens with the experimental beginnings of photography in dialogue with painters such as J.M.W. Turner and concludes with its flowering as an independent international art form.
Stunning works by John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, JAM Whistler, John Singer Sargent, John William Waterhouse and others will for the first time be shown alongside ravishing photographs which they inspired and which were inspired by them.
Adult £18.00 (without donation £16.30)
Concession £16.00 (without donation £14.50)
Turner Prize 2016
- 27 September 2016 — 8 January 2017
The Turner Prize is an art award set up in 1984 to celebrate new developments in contemporary art. It is awarded each year to a British artist for an outstanding exhibition from the twelve past months.
Nominations are invited each year, and the prize is judged by an independent jury which changes each year.
The four shortlisted artists will present their works at Tate Britain before the winner is announced in December.
- 26 October 2016 — 5 March 2017
Paul Nash is one of the most distinctive and important British artists of the twentieth century and this is the largest presentation of his work for a generation.
Known as a landscape artist, who engaged with the downland and coastal landscapes of southern England and its ancient past, those landscapes also provided a stage for his engagements with an international modernism, specifically Surrealism.
The exhibition presents the artist’s major works from his early Symbolist manner, through to the iconic works of the First World War, as well as his landscapes of the interwar period. It also features his involvement with Surrealism and his post-war landscape series engaging with natural cycles such as the phases of the moon. There are oils, watercolours, assemblages and photographs as well as books and archive material.
Schools and Teachers
All the resources you need for teaching art in the classroom, from Teachers' Packs to teacher training.
My Imaginary City
Artists use their imaginations to create scenes and places that are not real and that might never exist. If you could invent your own imaginary city what would it be like?
Webquests are online activities for children, using the collections of nine national museums and galleries.
The Case of the Mysterious Object
The Silver Cage: Film
Inspired by Cornelia Parker's 'Thirty Pieces of Silver', the Art Sparks create their own work, 'The Silver Cage'. Watch the film to see what they did.
How to obtain
View online on the Tate Kids site.
The Zoom Room
Welcome to the Zoom Room, where you can zoom into fresh ideas for making art. The Zoom Room contains an archive of informal art activities carried out by children in the Tate galleries. Get new ideas for making collages, creating snow globes, putting on performances, or carving soap sculptures. Tips are provided for children, explaining how to carry out these activities in the classroom or at home.
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Events and education
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