Review of Tate Liverpool

6 word review – This art just isn’t for me.

I didn’t like the Tate. Perhaps I just didn’t get it, but with many of the things there seemed like there was nothing TO get. This was particularly evident with the sculptures. They just seemed like junk to me. A case can probably me made for some of it but I refuse to believe that a urinal and a collection of tiles on the floor counts as art! Countless other reviews may have mentioned this, but more often than not the view out of the window was more interesting and captivating than the art itself.

The on the first floor we had Century Rolls by Matt Saunders. The pictures on display were of ‘obscure film muses’ and the Tate’s websites describes the pictures as;

“Exhibited as silver gelatin prints, Saunders’ enigmatic works on paper are created by projecting light through a drawing or painting to expose a sheet of photosensitive paper.”

At least with this exhibit I could see the appeal. If you like this sort of thing (and I’m sure someone out there would) then this will probably seem very good to you. I even found myself looking at a few of the pictures/paintings and think to myself “I rather like that one” I couldn’t tell you WHY in the hell I liked it but some were pretty good.

The next floor was This is Sculpture. As soon as we opened the door we were greeted with this;

Jake Chapman, Dinos Chapman, ‘Little Death Machine (Castrated)’ 1993

Whatever your feelings on this piece of ‘art’, you have to admit it’s pretty interesting. The same can sadly not be said for the other pieces of ‘art’ on display. I’m actually having to have a long hard think as to whether the two strips of neon in the corner were actually an edgy piece of modern art of just a light fixture.

Admittedly, I didn’t mind some of the art. ‘Painted Minotaur’ was cool (but then again it didn’t have a big window next to it, battling for my attention) There was also some famous art in there as well, such as Andy Warhol’s ‘Black Bean’. It was nice to see some famous, well-known and established art and I liked ‘Black Bean’. But I still wouldn’t be able to say why. Art just isn’t a big thing for me, and I don’t see the appeal.

The next floor was Thresholds, and after hearing the title you ultimately can’t help but be disappointed. There was one very good thing in there though, which was probably my favourite thing in the gallery. This was ‘Pacific’ by Yukinori Yanagi. The Tate website once again offers the best description;

“Yanagi filled a series of interconnecting Perspex boxes with coloured sand to represent the flags of 49 nations… He then released thousands of ants, whose movement distributed the sand from one flag to another. Suggestive of patterns of global migration, the ants gradually eroded the borders between different nations, creating new designs”

This was an especially cool thing to see and unlike many of the others, the message behind it made sense. It seemed like the artist made it for a purpose, not just made a random bit of junk and tacked on a meaning/message afterwards.

A few of the flags from ‘Pacific’ by Yukinori Yanagi

Overall, as you can probably guess, I didn’t have the best of times. The art probably wasn’t made for people like me, I’m just not going to appreciate it. I probably never will. BUT, if you do like art like the stuff I’ve mentioned, you could do a hell of a lot worse than go to Tate Liverpool.


7 thoughts on “Review of Tate Liverpool

  1. “(but then again it didn’t have a big window next to it, battling for my attention) ” hahaha best line ever.. but yeah, I agree completely. I loved the flags. I hated the big cardboard cutout thing in the centre of that room, though I appreciate a lot of work went into it… it just seemed to push the whole military topic too much in your face. I’d prefer art to be subtle… give a meaning in a way that can be interpretted.


    1. Yeah I’m the same. A lot of them just just seemed to have no meaning. Like those damn tiles!!! They meant nothing, and the urinal was a bit shit as well. I can appreciate peoples opinion on a lot of the art/sculptures but a lot of them were just plain junk. The light switches on the wall that were apparently “art” annoyed the hell out of me.


      1. Did you see those videos aswell? I know there was one for the ’tile’ art.. where people came on and read metaphores into the work? I’d say its more a statement to the wonderful creative minds people have, than making any statement about the artwork. I think people could write bull-shit into anything lol


      2. Yeah there was this one guy who came up with a real deep theory that the tiles represent us. How we all look similar but are ultimately different.

        But, like you said though, people could come up with any bullshit and this wasn’t an exception, I think they were just acting clever, pretending to grasp it when in reality they didn’t have a clue. That actually sounded way more nasty than it was meant to but oh well, I REALLY hated the Tate and those damn tiles! 😀


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