What is the course about?
A decade after the end of the Second World War, the exhibition, ‘This is Tomorrow’ opened at the Whitechapel Gallery in London in 1956. A radical group exhibition in terms of ideas, presentation and thinking, it introduced the work of a new generation of artists to the British public.
This course takes its inspiration from that moment in the 1950s when many artists questioned the legacy of earlier British art by taking experimental approaches in response to the changed and changing world. We will explore the practice of selected British artists working immediately after the war, and continuing up to the period of the ‘YBAs’ at the start of the new millennium. Who were the artists who had new visions for a better world? How did their work reflect some of the social, cultural and political concerns of the time?
Each week, the course will focus on the work of up to three artists or artist groups from each decade. These will include artists working in a range of media, from painting and sculpture to mixed media and photography, whose trailblazing practice and experimental approach have contributed to a more inclusive understanding of British art today. Artists featured will include Eduardo Paolozzi, Prunella Clough, Frank Bowling, Bridget Riley, Margaret Harrison, Gustav Metzger, Sonia Boyce, Derek Jarman, Helen Chadwick and Chris Ofili.
Explore the art of modern Britain with the Government Art Collection’s Curator Chantal Condron.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
• A focused study of the work of up to three artists or artist groups each week.
• An overview of some of the social and cultural issues that influenced the art of each decade.
• We will investigate what was visionary and forward-thinking about each artist’s work.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Identify some of the social, political or cultural issues that influenced the work of at least one artist’s work from each decade.
• Explain the working style and use of media by at least one artist from each decade.
• Describe formal visual elements or artistic styles of 2-3 artworks studied on the course.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for all levels.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught online with slide presentations and group discussions. Handouts will be provided by your tutor to support your learning on the course; these handouts will be available online/digitally for download, not printed out for you.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You might wish to purchase a notebook for taking notes. You might wish to buy some of the books on any reading list provided.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You might also be interested in:
• VB554 / VB712 : - Women in art: 1900-1960
• VB861 : - Focus on: Lucian Freud - paint as flesh
• VB639 : - Focus on: the body in 20th century art
• VB886 : - Focus on: video art.