Virtually explore Tate Modern with Smarthistory as your guide
videos + essays
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)
John Cage and Richter never met, but there was a kinship between these two artists with diverse practices.
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, 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, 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, Self-Portrait
Unusually, two figures make up this self-portrait, which is all sexuality but no passion.
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, Fat Chair
Beuys understood his art as a way to heal post-WWII Germany, but that may not be readily apparent from this work.