Perhaps one of the clearest impacts of the modern art ideology of changing art, and the pop art movement within that which sought to fill it with popular culture rather than classics and history, is the rise of the contemporary and modern art gallery. There always has and always will be a demand to see original artworks of the great masters beyond simple art prints, but the strange and interesting imagery carved out by modern art have led to a large number of popular art galleries which focus entirely on modern and contemporary work; these are just a few of the best.
Tate Modern Art Gallery, UK
The most visited modern art gallery in Europe, and widely considered as one of the best in the world, London’s Tate is located in an iconic decommissioned power station building, providing a very opposite experience to the grandiosity of most traditional galleries. Full of vast rooms, the 3,400 square metre turbine hall regularly hosts specially commissioned pieces that can fill the entire space, whilst a range of curated exhibitions explore great contemporary artists, fresh artforms, and retrospectives of great names. The permanent collection covers three floors and reaches back through contemporary and Modern Artists to 1900 and the beginning of the post-Impressionist Modern Art movement.
Guggenheim Bilbao Art Gallery Museum, Spain
With it’s remarkable architecture and waterfront location, the Guggenheim Bilbao has become a key tourist attraction displaying a vast range of work from the late 1800s to present day, including many of the great names such as Picasso, Kandinsky, Warhol, Rothko, and de Kooning. Large interiors are often filled with bespoke commission pieces, themed curations, and regularly rotated selections of contemporary and local Basque artists, while outside a number of large sculptures compliment the modernist theme of the building.
Kröller-Müller Art Museum, Netherlands
A unique approach to the Modern Art gallery, amongst so many remarkable buildings; the Kröller-Müller includes a large outdoor sculpture park within a national park; carefully integrated with the nature, it allows a remarkable space for contemporary artists, including many sculptors, to realise remarkable artistic visions. You can walk or ride a bike around the park, taking in over 160 works of sculpture from the 1900s forwards including Rodin, Moore, Dubuffet, and Oldenburg, and an indoor collection featuring Van Gogh, Seurat, and Mondrian.
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Spain
Focusing on Spanish Modern and Contemporary Art, the Museo Nacional shows some of the very best works from Miró, Dali, Gris, and of course Picasso, who is by far the greatest draw for the crowds at the art gallery. His huge, 7m long anti-war masterpiece Guernica is housed here, considered one of the most important works of the 20th century, inspired by the “terror bombing” of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War, which targeted civilians, most of whom were women and children. There is plenty more to see though, including sculpture, contemporary works, and pieces by non-Spanish Modern artists including Francis Bacon.
Museum of Modern Art, USA
MoMA has been acquiring an incredible range of original artworks since it first opened, focusing on masters from across the 19th and 20th century including Van Gogh, Cézanne, Gaugin, Dali, Monet, Matisse, and Picasso, including many of their great and landmark pieces. One of the oldest Modern Art museums it established the trend early in the 1920s, and has maintained a reputation as one of the best collections in the world, extending well beyond paintings to include drawings, photography, installations, design, architecture, video art, art prints, and sculpture covering the very best of the Modern Art movement.