Art Under Attack exhibition web banner for Tate Britain exhibition

Aesthetics: Art transformed

Across the centuries images of the human body remain a consistent target for the iconoclast. This selection of work from the last twenty-five years expands the scope of iconoclasm to include a range of exploratory and transformational practices applied by artists themselves to portraits and other types of representation of the human form. Some start with a reproduction of an artwork, while others begin with an original work that they own or have made. They then dismantle, mark, edit or reconfigure the material with different implements – including pencil, paint, fire, blades, a punch, and software – to transform images into new works with new meanings. The practices encompass acts of aggressive play, dramatic defacement, and careful cutting. Douglas Gordon, Lucy Skaer and John Stezaker remove parts of images. Jake and Dinos Chapman and Kate Davis mark over and subvert images. Michael Wilkinson unspools videotape and turns it into a sculpture. Mark Wallinger undermines the viewing of a film’s climax. All the artists respond critically to artworks or images by remaking them.