This wing is concerned with the ways in which artists engage with social ideals and historical realities. Though some artists associated modernism with a utopian vision, art has also provided a mirror to contemporary society, sometimes raising awareness about urgent issues or arguing for change. Whether through traditional media or moving images, abstraction or figuration, militancy or detached observation, all the artworks in this wing highlight aspects of the social reality in which they were made, and try to generate a reaction and convey a more or less explicit message to their publics.
Explore artworks from Tate's collection that respond to their social and political context
London SE1 9TG
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Rooms in this display
This opening room of the Artists and Society display brings together two works that use high-rise buildings as symbols for ...
Explore how geometric abstraction fabricated dreams of a new society in the twentieth century
The works in this room find visual expression for the complex horrors of civil war
Kaveh Golestan’s socially engaged photography exposes the plight of people living on the margins of society
How has art changed the way you see the world? Explore the artist’s role in society and share your thoughts
The photobooks in this display, drawn from the collection of Martin Parr, document the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the subsequent ...
American artist Carrie Mae Weems presents a highly personal history of the African American experience
Explore the political and controversial works of Joseph Beuys, from sculpture to performance
In Transit 2011, Australian artist Susan Norrie explores the often conflicting relationship between humanity and the natural world
View artworks that pay impressive tributes to campaigners for citizenship and civil rights
These two series of photographs draw attention to spaces which are hidden, restricted or overlooked
Visit an installation which reveals different histories of European engagement with Africa