Tate Britain Exhibition

Conceptual Art in Britain 1964–1979

Keith Arnatt Art as an Act of Retraction (detail) 1971 Tate © Keith Arnatt Estate

See the works that changed the way we think about art today

In the 1960s artists began to abandon traditional approaches and made ideas the essence of their work. This fascinating exhibition explores this pivotal period in British history.

It gathers together artists who took art beyond its traditional boundaries to suggest new ways of engaging with the realities of the world beyond the studio, which ultimately led to a questioning of the function and social purpose of art.

John Hilliard, ‘Camera Recording its Own Condition (7 Apertures, 10 Speeds, 2 Mirrors)’ 1971
John Hilliard
Camera Recording its Own Condition (7 Apertures, 10 Speeds, 2 Mirrors) 1971
© John Hilliard
Bruce McLean, ‘Pose Work for Plinths 3’ 1971
Bruce McLean
Pose Work for Plinths 3 1971
© Bruce McLean
Victor Burgin, ‘25 feet two hours’ 1969
Victor Burgin
25 feet two hours 1969
© Victor Burgin
John Latham, ‘Time Base Roller’ 1972
John Latham
Time Base Roller 1972
© John Latham Estate, courtesy Lisson Gallery, London
David Tremlett To Charlie and the Bush 1972–3

David Tremlett To Charlie and the Bush 1972–3

Roelouf Louw, Soul City (Pyramid of Oranges)
Roelouf Louw, Soul City (Pyramid of Oranges)

Sorry, copyright restrictions prevent us from showing this object here

Michael Craig-Martin
An Oak Tree 1973
Lent from a private collection 2000
© Michael Craig-Martin

The radical and controversial work both scrutinised and consistently took inspiration from the real world. Asking what art is, as well as what it might be for, inevitably led some artists to create work that was often politically engaged with themes and issues ranging from feminism to the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Seen within the context of its time, spanning Harold Wilson’s first Labour government to the election of Margaret Thatcher, this show reveals conceptual art’s lasting legacy.

Artists featured within the show include, among others: Keith Arnatt, Art & Language, Conrad Atkinson, Victor Burgin, Michael Craig-Martin, Hamish Fulton, Margaret Harrison, Susan Hiller, John Hilliard, Mary Kelly, John Latham, Richard Long, Bruce McLean, David Tremlett and Stephen Willats.

Watch Conceptual art group Art & Language discuss the influence of Frank Stella (and their surprising popularity with selfie-takers…).

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Tate Britain

London SW1P 4RG
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12 April – 29 August 2016

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