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See how artists in Tate’s collection have responded to the impact of mass media

© Lee Mawdsley

13 rooms in Media Networks

Whaam!

Roy Lichtenstein, Whaam!  1963

Whaam! is based on an image Lichtenstein found in a 1962 DC comic, All American Men of War. Lichtenstein often used art from comics and adverts in his paintings. He saw the act of taking an existing image and changing the context as a way of transforming it’s meaning. Lichtenstein was interested in emotional subjects, such as love and war. His work takes on these themes in a distant and impersonal way.

Gallery label, July 2020

© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

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Babel

Cildo Meireles, Babel  2001

Babel 2001 is a large-scale sculptural installation that takes the form of a circular tower made from hundreds of second-hand analogue radios that the artist has stacked in layers. The radios are tuned to a multitude of different stations and are adjusted to the minimum volume at which they are audible. Nevertheless, they compete with each other and create a cacophony of low, continuous sound, resulting in inaccessible information, voices or music.

© Cildo Meireles

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Bust of a Woman

Pablo Picasso, Bust of a Woman  1944

This is a portrait of the artist Dora Maar. Picasso painted it in May 1944, during the final weeks of the Nazi Occupation of Paris during World War II. Deprivation and tension were high in the city. Many people faced persecution for their religion, race, sexuality or disability. This led to imprisonment or death.
Maar’s face is painted in black and white. This contrasts with the red and purple background, and the bright green of her dress. This combination of styles and colours appears to represent a complex moment of both fear and hope, when many believed the occupation of Paris might be coming to an end.

Gallery label, July 2020

© Succession Picasso/DACS 2020

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Insertions into Ideological Circuits: Coca-Cola Project

Cildo Meireles, Insertions into Ideological Circuits: Coca-Cola Project  1970

Meireles altered a series of Coca-Cola bottles, by printing slogans such as ‘Yankees go home’ or instructions for making Molotov cocktails on them. He put them back into circulation in what he described as an act of subversive ‘mobile graffiti’, enacted under Brazil’s military dictatorship. He saw the system of recycling empty bottles as a way of enabling a political message to circulate surreptitiously. He has compared the Coca-Cola bottles to ‘messages in bottles, flung into the sea by victims of shipwrecks’.

Gallery label, February 2016

© Cildo Meireles

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Highlights

Whaam!
Roy Lichtenstein Whaam! 1963
Babel
Cildo Meireles Babel 2001
Bust of a Woman
Pablo Picasso Bust of a Woman 1944
Insertions into Ideological Circuits: Coca-Cola Project
Cildo Meireles Insertions into Ideological Circuits: Coca-Cola Project 1970