Showcasing Art History – Britain ∩ Europe – Part II
Vernon Square, Penton Rise, Kings Cross, London
Tuesday 15 January 2019
PLEASE NOTE: This Date Has Passed
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Booking per term only.
Vernon Square, Penton Rise, Kings Cross, London, WC1X 9EA
- Dr Kate Grandjouan
- Dr Anne Puetz
- Nicola Moorby
- MaryAnne Stevens
- Revd Dr Ayla Lepine
- Dr Martin Hammer
- Dr Chris Stephens
- Dr Mark Godfrey
- Dr Edwin Coomasaru
- Dr Anne Puetz - Short Courses, Courtauld Institute of Art
A notion of the distinctiveness of British art emerged strongly in the early modern period, at home and abroad, with definitions ranging from the refreshingly individual to the frankly eccentric. Some observers celebrated what they saw as a proudly independent artistic heritage, particularly associated with landscape painting and with a native brand of humour.
At the same time, many artists, patrons and critics argued for the arts produced in Britain to be seen as part of a continuum of ‘high’ European art, a desire expressed in the traditions of the Grand Tour, and in the foundation of the Royal Academy for instance.
More recently, scholars have debated whether there is a necessary correlation between cosmopolitanism and avant-garde status. Is art ‘advanced’ only in proportion to its closeness to leading international modern and particularly ‘modernist’ developments? On that count, where do we place the enduring figurative strand of twentieth-century British art? In the latter part of the last century, London emerged as one of the foremost European centres of contemporary art, British artists were increasingly represented abroad, and a ‘new internationalism’ was perhaps begun to be taken for granted. In that context, we shall ask whether there was anything specifically ‘British’ about the ‘YBAs’ and others representing that scene. Since the referendum on membership of the European Union in June 2016, the question of cultural identity has once again become an urgent concern for many artists. We shall investigate the ideological as well as practical ties many contemporary practitioners have with mainland Europe and discuss what the future might hold for British art post Brexit.