Art Turning Left is the first exhibition to examine how the production and reception of art has been influenced by left-wing values, from the French Revolution to the present day.
Left-wing political values such as collectivism, equality and the search for alternative economies have continuously influenced the making of art and visual culture, from the way in which William Morris organised his production line to the deliberate anonymity of the designers of the Atelier Populaire posters inParis1968. The direct involvement of visual artists in politics and the social and ethical values of left-wing politics can be traced to the French Revolution, when artists such as Jacques-Louis David granted permission for their artwork to be reproduced to support the Republican cause. Versions of David’s iconic image of The Death of Marat 1793-4, one of the most famous images of the Revolution will be an exhibition highlight.
Art Turning Left is a thematic exhibition, based on key concerns that span different historical periods and geographic locations. They range from equality in production and collective authorship to the question of how to merge art and life. The exhibition moves away from the political messages behind the works and claims about the ability of art to deliver political and social change, and instead focuses on the effect political values have had on the processes, aesthetics and display of artworks.
The exhibition includes artists from across the globe including Marianne Brandt, Jeremy Deller and Alan Kane, The Hackney Flashers, The Mass Observation Movement, David Medalla, Tim Rollins and Iwao Yamawaki.
Programmed in parallel with Art Turning Left, Tate Liverpool will also present The New Modelin the Wolfson Gallery. The exhibition is the result of a collective research project rethinking Palle Nielsen’s work The Model 1968, when the Moderna Museet, Stockholm converted the building into a playground where children could attempt to visualise a more equal society.