The Tate Modern Turns 20: A Closer Look at the Top 10 Exhibitions in the Last 20

By Victoria McCraven, MA History of Art and Archaeology

Over the last twenty years over 40 million people have visited Tate Modern, housing one of the most impressive modern and contemporary art collections in the world. Tate Modern is one of four Tate galleries in the United Kingdom. This year, Tate Modern turns 20 which is commemorated with a number of exciting exhibitions featuring artists including Steve McQueen, Andy Warhol, and Rodin.   

“Tate Modern is one of the top three most visited sites in the United Kingdom”

Tate trustees first began planning the opening of a gallery dedicated to modern and contemporary art in 1992 which would show artists from all over the world. In 1994, the Bankside Power Station, which had been closed since 1981 was chosen as the location for what we now know as Tate Modern. Architects Herzog & De Meuron were selected to convert space into a functional gallery, but still maintained much of the buildings industrial aesthetic. 

Tate has come a long way since 2000, becoming one of the top three most visited sites in the United Kingdom, immediately recognizable with its chimney and expansive Turbine Hall, the location of many of the galleries most impressive commissions. 

In the last twenty years, many amazing artists have exhibited at the Tate Modern and compiled below is a list of perhaps the ten most iconic exhibitions and commissions. 


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