Barbican

Frank Auerbach, Gillian Ayres and Victor Pasmore in Postwar Modern: New Art in Britain 1945-1965 (3 March - 26 June 2022)

March 03 2022

On view at Barbican until 26 June 2022, Postwar Modern: New Art in Britain 1945-1965 explores the art produced in Britain in the wake of a cataclysmic war. Certainty was gone, and the aftershocks continued, but there was also hope for a better tomorrow. These conditions gave rise to an incredible richness of imagery, forms and materials in the years that followed. 

Focusing on ‘the new’, Postwar Modern features 48 artists and around 200 works of painting, sculpture, photography, collage and installation. It explores the subjects that most preoccupied artists, among them the body, the post-atomic condition, the Blitzed streetscape, private relationships and imagined future horizons. As well as reconsidering well-known figures, the exhibition foregrounds artists who came to Britain as refugees from Nazism or as migrants from a crumbling empire, in addition to female artists who have tended to be overlooked.

This exhibition includes exceptional works by Frank Auerbach, Gillian Ayres and Victor Pasmore. 

Praise for Postwar Modern: New Art in Britain 1945-1965

'That rare thing in a contemporary art gallery – a genuinely polemical exhibition' (The Independent)

'This is an enthralling exhibition' (The Guardian)