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British Art in the Cultural Field, 1939-69

ISBN: 978-1-118-27584-9
278 pages
October 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
British Art in the Cultural Field, 1939-69 (1118275845) cover image


Informed by new research, this rich collection of thought-provoking essays presents a fresh assessment of British Art in the Cultural Field, 1939–69, locating influential artists, movements, institutions, and individual works against the changing economic and cultural landscape to shed new light on this seminal period in British art history.
  • International art historians explore many different aspects of the period which saw post-war austerity, decolonisation, and the birth of postmodernism
  • Takes a variety of approaches, from the broad canvas of the political economy of art to closely attentive readings of individual artists and works, from Bacon to Stirling, and the Independent Group to Pop Art
  • Invaluable for students and scholars of the field, as well as general readers, including the growing number of collectors of twentieth-century British art
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Table of Contents

6 Notes on Contributors

8 Chapter 1 Being British and Going … Somewhere
Lisa Tickner and David Peters Corbett

18 Chapter 2 ‘The morrow we left behind’: Landscape and the Rethinking of Modernism, 1939–53
Chris Stephens

36 Chapter 3 Sculpture for the Hand: Herbert Read in the Studio of Kurt Schwitters
Megan R. Luke

54 Chapter 4 Science, Art and Landscape in the Nuclear Age
Catherine Jolivette

72 Chapter 5 Photography into Building in Post-war Architecture: The Smithsons and James Stirling
Claire Zimmerman

90 Chapter 6 Realism, Brutalism, Pop
Alex Potts

116 Chapter 7 The Independent Group’s ‘Anthropology of Ourselves’
Catherine Spencer

138 Chapter 8 Dada’s Mama: Richard Hamilton’s Queer Pop
Jonathan D. Katz

156 Chapter 9 Francis Bacon: Painting after Photography
Martin Hammer

174 Chapter 10 Vulgar Pictures: Bacon, de Kooning, and the Figure under Abstraction
Andrew R. Lee

196 Chapter 11 ‘Export Britain’: Pop Art, Mass Culture and the Export Drive
Lisa Tickner

222 Chapter 12 Painting and Sculpture of a Decade ’54–’64 Revisited
Andrew Stephenson

244 Chapter 13 Varieties of Belatedness and Provincialism: Decolonization and British Pop
Leon Wainwright

265 Index

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Author Information

Lisa Tickner is Professor Emerita of Art History at Middlesex University and Visiting Professor at the Courtauld Institute of Art where she teaches an MA on ‘Modernism in Britain, 1890–1970’. She is the author of four books, the co-editor of four more, and has published widely on topics in nineteenth- and twentieth-century British art history. Her publications include: Hornsey 1968: The Art School Revolution (2008); Dante Gabriel Rossetti (2003); Modern Life and Modern Subjects: British Art in the Early Twentieth Century (2000); and The Spectacle of Women: Imagery of the Suffrage Campaign, 1907–1914 (1988). She is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Trustee of the Art Fund.

David Peters Corbett is Professor of Art History and American Studies, and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of East Anglia. Editor of the journal Art History (2007-12), he has written widely on English and American art between 1850 and 1950 and is the author of The World in Paint: Modern Art and Visuality in England, 1848–1914 (2004); The Geographies of Englishness: Landscape and the National Past, 1880–1940 (2002); Walter Sickert (2001); and The Modernity of English Art, 1914-1930 (1997).

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“This rich book will enchant art historians, scholars of late modernism, as well as anyone interested in the cultural history of 20th-century Great Britain.”  (Cercles, 1 April 2013)
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