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Time/Date - 10:00 - 17:00, Fri 12 Feb 2016 - Sun 28 Jan 2018

Abstraction and Figuration in 20th Century British Art

Portrait of Daphne Spencer b. 1932 (1951) (oil on canvas), Spencer, Stanley (1891-1959) / National Museums Northern Ireland / Bridgeman Images

Portrait of Daphne Spencer b. 1932 (1951) (oil on canvas), Spencer, Stanley (1891-1959) / National Museums Northern Ireland / Bridgeman Images

 
With the emergence of Modernism in the early years of the twentieth century, artists began to make choices about working in the figurative tradition or adopting abstraction as a means of artistic expression.

In British art, the figurative tradition remained strong throughout the twentieth century, as artists such as Walter Sickert, Francis Bacon and Frank Auerbach used the representation of the human figure to explore human experience and emotion.

Interest in the power of abstract painting increased during the late 1950s, influenced by the large scale energy of American painting, and by the 1960s some of the most important work produced in Britain was abstract.  This display examines some of the links between abstraction and figuration, and in particular the artist’s response to the human figure. The exhibition also highlights a new acquisition, Red Conservatory by John Walker 1979-80 (gift of the Contemporary Art Society, 2015) in which Walker, inspired by Goya’s famous full-length portrait of the Duchess of Alba, 1797, used abstraction to evoke the scale and presence of the human figure.

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Exhibition Details:

  • This is a Free exhibition
  • This exhibition is located in Art 3, in the Ulster Museum

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