Tate Modern

Between Object and Architecture

Blavatnik Building Level 2 West

See works that create a dialogue with the materials and spaces of everyday buildings

The new approaches explored in this display began to emerge during an era of social and political upheaval, as artists were thinking critically about art and its place in the world. They began to think about sculptures as independent objects, no longer attempting to imitate nature and often employing impersonal geometric shapes and configurations. Some worked with materials associated with construction such as bricks, breeze blocks, or spirit levels. Others found materials on building sites and city streets.

Objects were brought down from the pedestal – which had traditionally separated them from the viewer – and placed onto the floor or attached to the wall. The viewer could now engage more directly with the object as they occupied the same space. The architecture and lighting of the gallery also had to be taken into account as it necessarily affected that encounter.

The placement of some works in this room is determined by particular architectural features. Other works are produced by casting elements of buildings. Some works themselves create spaces that viewers can enter. By allowing people to become more attuned to the space in which they view the objects, such works invite a heightened and more dynamic experience.

geometric sculpture on a white plinth
A white cube with condensation in a gallery space with a person walking by
A blue sculpture and tiled sculpture on the gallery floor


Tate Modern
London SE1 9TG
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Art in this display

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