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The ground is laid for the next revolution

As Tate Modern open its new extension, a £260m brick-clad ziggurat designed by Herzog & de Meuron, we consider the museum’s seismic effect on the art scene in London and internationally

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Later this month, Tate Modern will open its new extension, a £260m brick-clad ziggurat designed by Herzog & de Meuron, who converted Bankside Power Station into the original Tate Modern in 2000. It prompted The Art Newspaper to consider the Tate’s seismic effect on the art scene in London and indeed internationally. In this special report we focus on what happened to art-making; on the Tate’s collecting policies; on other museums around the world and historic art; on London’s commercial gallery scene; and on the appetite for art in the UK capital and beyond. We asked numerous leading art world figures for their views—a small number are opposite—and the undoubted consensus is that Tate Modern’s first phase has had a transformative impact.

Now, the Tate wants to grow, not just into the former Switch House and up ten storeys in the ziggurat, but in its global reach and gender balance. Our research (shown as infographics on pp20-21) suggests that the Tate has given itself a significant challenge in creating public appeal for artists beyond the traditional Western canon and has some way to go before achieving genuine equality in its exhibitions. But as numerous figures point out in this report, under Nicholas Serota it has pulled off an extraordinary feat in creating a genuine public interest in Modern and contemporary art, which even very recently many thought was beyond most Britons. It would take a bold person to bet against Tate Modern creating another cultural revolution.