In an art context, pluralism refers to the late 1960s and 1970s when art, politics and culture merged as artists began to believe in a more socially and politically responsive form of art

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  • Cildo Meireles, 'Eureka/Blindhotland' 1970-5
    Cildo Meireles
    Eureka/Blindhotland 1970-5
    Rubber, lead, cork, textile, metal, paper and audio
    display dimensions variable
    Presented by the American Fund for the Tate Gallery 2007© Cildo Meireles
  • Hans Haacke, 'A Breed Apart' 1978
    Hans Haacke
    A Breed Apart 1978
    Photographs on paper laid on hardboard
    image, each: 910 x 910 mm
    Presented by the Patrons of New Art through the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1988© Hans Haacke/VG Bild-Kunst
  • Eva Hesse, 'Tomorrow's Apples (5 in White)' 1965
    Eva Hesse
    Tomorrow's Apples (5 in White) 1965
    Enamel, gouache and mixed media on board
    object: 654 x 556 x 159 mm
    Purchased 1979© The estate of Eva Hesse, courtesy Hauser & Wirth, Zürich

The term pluralism in a general context refers to a social structure in which many small groups maintain their unique cultural identity within a broader culture.

The art historian Rosalind Krauss characterised the art of the late 1960s and 1970s period as:

Diversified, split and factionalised. Unlike the art of the last several decades, its energy does not seem to flow through a single channel for which a synthetic term, like abstract expressionism, or minimalism, might be found. In defiance of the notion of collective effort that operates behind the very idea of an artistic ‘movement’, 70s art is proud of its own dispersal.