Postwar Modern Exhibition Catalogue
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Postwar Modern Exhibition Catalogue

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This landmark book offers a major reassessment of the art that emerged in Britain in the twenty years following the end of the Second World War: a period of anxiety, profound social change and explosive creativity. Published to accompany the exhibition Postwar Modern: New Art in Britain, 1945-1965 in the Barbican Art Gallery, it draws together the work of forty-eight artists, exploring a period straddled precariously between the horror of the past and the promise of the future.

Spanning painting, sculpture, architecture, ceramics and photography, Postwar Modern explores a rich field of experiment which challenges the idea that Britain was a cultural backwater at this time. Through new texts by Jane Alison, Hilary Floe, Ben Highmore, Hammad Nassar and Greg Salter, the book looks afresh at celebrated artists such as Francis Bacon, David Hockney, Lucian Freud and Eduardo Paolozzi, shown in dialogue with lesser-known figures. These include those, like Francis Newton Souza, Avinash Chandra and Robert Adams, who were acclaimed by contemporaries but neglected in subsequent history-making; others, like Kim Lim, Anwar Jalal Shemza and Franciszka Themerson, are only now attracting the attention they deserve. Throughout their work, vital shared preoccupations become visible: gender, class, race and nationhood; the body, the bombsite, and the home. It is a period resonating strongly with our own: as the UK emerges from more than a decade of austerity and confronts the challenges of post-pandemic reconstruction, society is asking similarly deep questions about who we want and need to be.

Includes 250 illustrations.

Hardcover, 352 pages

Dimensions: 24 x 30cm