Cultural Vandalism: Tate Explores Art Under Attack In New Exhibition

Art Under Attack is the subject and title of a new show that Tate Britain is planning for October 2013. The exhibition will explore the history of attacks on art in Britain, from the Reformation of the 16th century to the present day. Demonstrating how religious, political, moral and aesthetic controversy can become arenas for assaults on art, it will look at the state-sanctioned iconoclastic zeal of religious reformers, who aimed to purge both churches and minds of the sin of idolatry; the symbolic statue-breaking that accompanies political change; and attacks on art by individuals stimulated by a moral or aesthetic outrage. Over the centuries, the urge to break has been accompanied by a desire to make or regenerate. The exhibition will reveal how for some modern and contemporary artists destruction can be utilised as a creative force.

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