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Public art spaces

I love going to galleries, but I have to admit that, for me, it's often more about the space that they occupy than the art within them. It's the experience of the architecture, the space and color, and even a good coffee shop, if they have one.

Public art spacesTate Modern in London, a converted power station on the south bank of the River Thames. It's huge, industrial – a vast echoing hulk of a place (above), but I love it. I can wander round it for hours, exploring the gift shop and hanging out in the top-floor restaurant which has amazing panoramic views of the city. I've just found out it's going to get even bigger next year, with a futuristic new extension (as shown in the picture below). More space to wander round – which can only be a good thing.

Public art spacesGetty Center (below) is my Tate Modern equivalent. It doesn't look like much from a distance, but when you're in it, surrounded by an expanse of decadently expensive imported Italian stone, the stark white angles are almost blinding against the blue sky of southern California. It's a conspicuous display of wealth, a big fat look-at-me, but it's the one place I always take visitors to.

Public art spacesDenver Art Museum (below, and very top) looks like another contender for great art space. The museum has been around since 1949, with various additions over the years, but the unfeasibly dramatic Frederic C. Hamilton Building, designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, was added last year. It's covered in 9,000 titanium panels, and was inspired by the peaks of the Rocky Mountains and geometric rock crystals found in nearby foothills. More architecture that defies practicality, another big space to get lost in.
I look forward to doing just that. RM

Public art spaces

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