Tate Britain

1930

Main Floor
Naum Gabo, ‘Construction in Space with Crystalline Centre’ 1938–40
Naum Gabo, Construction in Space with Crystalline Centre 1938–40. Tate. The Work of Naum Gabo © Nina & Graham Williams/Tate, London 2017

Reflect on the diversity of art produced in Britain from 1930-1940

I find this room very moving because, whether abstract or realist abstract, it is full of works made out of the belief of art's ability to change the world. But of course the 1930s end with the beginning of World War Two – the unleashing of the horrors of that conflict and the Holocaust fundamentally undermined that optimistic belief in the power of culture.
Curator Chris Stephens
Video placeholder

The 1930s saw a debate, not only between the avant-garde and the academy, but also between modern artists, about the appropriate response to the rise of Fascism in Europe. Abstract artists, surrealists and social realists all interpreted that political imperative in different ways.

Political conflict dominated this decade, as did the economic downfall known as The Great Depression. These social and political concerns emerge in the art of the period, but they manifest themselves in different ways in the work of different artists.

Venue

Tate Britain
Millbank
London SW1P 4RG
Plan your visit

Art in this room

All rooms in this display

We recommend

A queer walk through British art

Explore some of the ways sexualities and gender identities have been thought about and depicted in British art

Find out more