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PREVIEW: THE TATE AT BANKSIDE

Richard Flood talks with Nicholas Serota

IT WILL BE CALLED THE TATE GALLERY of Modern Art, and it is scheduled to open at the beginning of the new millennium. The gallery will be housed in an extraordinary postwar relic, an oil-fired power station on the South Bank of the Thames, directly across from St. Paul’s Cathedral. The building, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in 1947, was completed in 1963; by then its austere, rather Gothic-Deco facade was well out of architectural fashion. Perhaps because it was already esthetically obsolete at birth, the building was denied placement on the architectural registry. It is, nonetheless, a seductively fascistic presence on the insistently banal skyline of the South Bank.

The dominant force behind the creation of the Tate Gallery of Modern Art is Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate Gallery, current home to what the museum’s subhead calls “The National Collections of British and Modern

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