Art in Britain 1950-2000 - 'This is Tomorrow' (Part 1)

Course Dates: 21/09/23 - 26/10/23
Time: 10:30 - 12:30
Location: Keeley Street
Discover the work of selected British artists whose innovative practice shaped the development of modern art in Britain from the 1950s to the 1970s. Explore how and why the ideas and themes behind their work continue to be relevant to today’s audiences.
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Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £95.00 Concession £77.00

This course has now started

Course Code: VB550

Started Thu, day, 21 Sep - 26 Oct '23

Duration: 5 sessions (over 6 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

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 and Gustav Metzger.

The course will not meet on the 19th of October.

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.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

You will be taught by lecture with slide images and you will be invited to participate in group discussion. There will be handouts provided by your tutor; these handouts will be available digitally via a Google Classroom. You will be invited to join the Google Classroom within a week of your course start date.

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:
Women in art: 1900-1960
Cabinets to White Cubes: a history of collecting art in the UK
Friday Lates: 'The future is now', an introduction to video art.

Chantal Condron

Chantal Condron is a curator, teacher and writer with a dedicated focus on audienceengagement and enjoyment of art. As the UK Government Art Collection’s first curator of publicengagement, she led education and public programmes at the University of Hull, WhitechapelGallery and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and delivered art talks at the Britishembassies in Paris, Vienna and Washington DC. She teaches Art History at City Lit, in additionto teaching the subject as part of City Lit’s Ceramics Diploma course. She is also an Art Historytutor for WEA London, and teaches 'A level' Art History to London secondary school students. Chantal has worked widely in the public and private arts sector for nearly 30 years including at Tate, Sotheby's, Visiting Arts, Arts and Business and University of London Library. She holds a BA in 20th century and non-western art from the University of East Anglia; and an MA in Asian art from SOAS, University of London. Author of 'Peter Hedegaard', the first monograph on the London-based Danish abstract artist who exhibited in the 1960s and ‘70s (Rocket Gallery, London, 2019), Chantal continues to contribute commissioned exhibition texts and reviews.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.