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An exhibition examining the deliberate destruction of art in Britain over the past 500 years.

From the religious iconoclasm of the sixteenth century to the contemporary defacement of oil paintings by the Chapman brothers, this exhibition explores the causes that have led to assaults on art over the centuries.

It begins with the smashing of statues and stained glass windows during the Dissolution, before introducing a number of political motivations that caused art works to be damaged in the 1800 and 1900s. In particular the slashing of paintings by the suffragettes in the early part of the twentieth century and then later by feminists protesting the way women were depicted. Also on show are artworks that reveal how destruction can be a creative force, like in the acid paintings of auto-destructive artist Gustav Metzger.

Tate Britain

Millbank, London, Greater London, SW1P 4RG

020 7887 8888


Opening times

Daily, 10am – 6pm (last admission 5.15pm)
Closed 24 – 26 Dec

Free to all

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