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Afteryears: Reflections on British Art 1946- 1952

Tuesday 12 August – Saturday 13 September
Open Tuesday to Saturday 12pm – 5pm, closed Sunday and Monday

Selected from The Arts Council Collection by Laura Dennis and Anthony Williams, MA Curation students at Norwich University of the Arts.

Afteryears: Reflections on British Art 1946-52 has been devised by students on the MA Curation programme, and will include some of the very first works collected by the Arts Council. The exhibition will display works by some of the most significant artists of the period, including Barbara Hepworth, Patrick Heron and Victor Pasmore, as well as revealing the forgotten contribution of younger and less familiar names to the artistic debates of the time.

Afteryears will examine a range of artists’ concerns set against the backdrop of the significant social and political changes of this era. Did artistic practice straightforwardly reflect the growing sense of optimism and renewal as symbolised by the formation of the Welfare State and the Festival of Britain, or did the aftermath of war leave an altogether different legacy?

The exhibition will consider the physical and psychological impact of the War, reminding us that in this time of victory and peace many people in Britain were living in cities that had been devastated by the Blitz. Everyday life in the original ‘age of austerity’ will be shown through images that reflect a time of full employment and the birth of the NHS, as well as both romanticised and realistic depictions of domesticity. A series of works will also show how rural life and the landscape were idealised by artists, the subject offering both a conceptual and physical escape from the difficulties of the time. The period also witnessed progressively heated debates around abstraction and figuration, culminating in a public outcry over the works created for the Festival of Britain.

During the MA Degree Show 5 – 10 September the exhibition is open:
Weekdays 11 – 7pm
Saturday 11 – 6pm and Sunday 11 – 4pm.

Lunchtime Talk in the Gallery

Thursday 14 August, 12.30pm, The Gallery at NUA

As part of our Lunchtime Talks programme gallery staff present a short discussion about the exhibition. Free entry, no booking required.

Spirit of ’45 Screening at Cinema City

Saturday 16 August, 3pm

In conjunction with Afteryears, Norwich University of the Arts will screen Ken Loach’s Spirit of ’45 at Cinema City. Tickets can be purchased from the Gallery at NUA during exhibition opening hours or online here.

For more information visit: www.picturehouses.co.uk/cinema/Cinema_City/

Buy tickets online

Tickets for the Cinema City screening of Ken Loach’s ‘The Spirit of 45’ can be purchased at the NUA online store.

Artists’ choices are subject to unstated physical, economic, political and moral constraints, which intersect with the wider social and historical pattern.

Margaret Garlake, New Art New World (1998)

Nan Reid

Nan Reid, Fish and Chip Shop in Chelsea, 1952, Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London © Estate of the artist.

ACC