Some background

videos + essays

Link to Tate Modern's website

Ai Weiwei, <em>Kui Hua Zi (Sunflower Seeds)</em>
Ai Weiwei, Kui Hua Zi (Sunflower Seeds)

Ai Weiwei planted seeds for change—100 million of them—at Tate Modern.

Gerhard Richter, The Cage Paintings (1-6)
Gerhard Richter, The Cage Paintings (1-6)

John Cage and Richter never met, but there was a kinship between these two artists with diverse practices.

Salvador Dalí, <em>Metamorphosis of Narcissus</em>
Salvador Dalí, Metamorphosis of Narcissus

Dalí’s forms are mirrored and doubled in this disconcerting painting, made in a state of “paranoiac critical activity.”

Francis Bacon, <em>Triptych – August 1972</em>
Francis Bacon, Triptych – August 1972

Coping with the death of his lover, Bacon paints figures who decompose and fuse together in front of our eyes.

Joseph Beuys, <em>Table with Accumulator (Tisch mit Aggregat)</em>
Joseph Beuys, Table with Accumulator (Tisch mit Aggregat)

We’re sick with the illness of the 20th century, and only a clay-powered wooden battery thing can help.

Christian Schad, <em>Self-Portrait</em>
Christian Schad, Self-Portrait

Unusually, two figures make up this self-portrait, which is all sexuality but no passion.

Doris Salcedo, <em>Shibboleth</em>
Doris Salcedo, Shibboleth

Although Salcedo’s exhibit at Tate Modern ended in 2008, the scar remains—a reminder that the past can’t be erased.

Joseph Beuys, <em>Fat Chair</em>
Joseph Beuys, Fat Chair

Beuys understood his art as a way to heal post-WWII Germany, but that may not be readily apparent from this work.