|Dates||From 16/02/2003 to 02/03/2003|
The twelve works by Graham Sutherland OM, lent by Peter Nahum At The Leicester Galleries, London are an important element within the Poetry of Crisis Collection.
THE POETRY OF CRISIS COLLECTION
The Poetry of Crisis Collection is, according to leading museum experts in the field, the most important and comprehensive study collection of over 350 British paintings and works on paper covering the years of political crisis between 1933 and 1951. This seminal collection places these images in the rich context of events during this climactic era. It is well known to International Museum directors and curators, who have viewed it privately and have consistently borrowed from it for International exhibitions.
The periods surrounding the 2nd World War were ones with an unsurpassed emotional and intellectual resonance, as artists and writers found new languages with which to express themselves. The sheer energy of the period is illustrated by the simultaneous strength and growth of two major international artistic languages Surrealism and Abstract Modernism. A third language to emerge in Britain in the 2nd World War, which artists used to express, in landscape painting, the destruction at home and abroad, was based on the twisted natural forms that Graham Sutherland had developed in the late years of the 1930s.
The intellectual vibrancy, which allowed such striking new forms of expression to develop, was perhaps enhanced by the undertones of political tension that ran through Europe for much of the 1930s. The British Surrealist Group in particular was closely tied to left-wing politics and many of its members were also card-carrying communists. The tensions that arose between the Surrealist advocates, the abstract modernists spearheaded by Ben Nicholson and the old guard traditionalists added fuel to the creative drive on all sides.
The onset of the Spanish Civil War was without doubt the defining emotional and ideological event of the period, savagely disturbing the cultural and intellectual life of the entire Western World. This brutal conflict affected many people in all walks of life, from working men to the leading minds of the time. As from many Western countries, ideologically and emotionally committed Britons fought on both sides of the conflict.
A visual journey through the paintings, year by year, creates a poignant impression of the actions and interactions of the times and the personal experiences of living through them. The collection ends at a high point the Festival of Britain of 1951, for which Londons South Bank was built to infuse the nation and its art with an enthusiasm for a new optimistic future.
The Poetry of Crisis collection looks at the period exclusively through British eyes and this remains a great strength of the collection, allowing the visitor to appreciate the enormity of the cultural changes and influences of the period on one particular national mindset. Artistically, Britain was very much a part of the momentous European artistic revolution of the first half of the century. The collection has been assembled over a period of more than twenty years, born from careful thought and an innate understanding of the era, representing a broad, original body of work that it would not be possible to assembled in such depth and breadth again.
The Leicester Galleries is delighted to have lent 12 works by Graham Sutherland, which form part of the Poetry of Crisis Collection, to the Centenary Exhibition of the artist. The centenary of Graham Sutherland's birth is 2003. It will be marked by exhibitions at Tate Britain and Pallant House (Chichester) but the first - the largest and most diverse, with over 100 works, will be at Olympia, 25 February-2 March 2003.
The twelve works by Graham Sutherland OM, lent by Peter Nahum At The Leicester Galleries, London are an important element within the Poetry of Crisis Collection. THE POETRY OF CRISIS COLLECTION 1933-1951 The Poetry of Crisis Collection is, according to leading museum experts in the field, the most important and comprehensive study collection of over 350 British paintings and works on pap... read more »