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Understanding Modern Art - free talk - 7.12.20

Event Details

Understanding Modern Art - free talk - 7.12.20

Time: December 7, 2020 from 12:30pm to 1:30pm
Location: Barbican Library - Zoom
Event Type: free, sign, up, on, eventbrite
Organized By: Helen Tremaine
Latest Activity: Nov 30, 2020

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Event Description

Join Arts Society and Tate lecturer Frank Woodgate for a journey through modern art.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the artistic revolution which had started in the second half of the 19th C and produced the works of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, spread. Artists like Matisse and Picasso created some of their most important and influential works, and Duchamp produced art which still has an influence on artists today. In the second and third decades of the century, the artistic response to political and social upheavals produced some of the great masterpieces of modern art, including many works, such as those of Surrealists like Ernst and Magritte, which were designed deliberately to shock and mystify.

The Spanish Civil War was a great influence on artists such as Picasso and Dalí, whilst the deep pessimism of the years following the Second World War is reflected in the work of artists like Bacon and Dubuffet. Pop Art brought a return to optimism in the sixties, while some of Warhol’s pictures reveal a darker side of modern life.


The last decades of the 20th century and the first of the 21st have seen an intense questioning of the nature and language of art, and serious consideration of ecological issues and the state of the planet amongst artists like Beuys and Kiefer. In the context of British art, we shall look at the Turner Prize which, since 1984, has helped bring this country to the forefront of international modern art.

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