Let Us Face the Future. British art 1945-1968

Temporary exhibitions

Curated by
Andrew Dempsy i Richard Riley

Let Us Face the Future takes a journey through British art from the end of the Second World War to the late sixties and shows, for the first time in Spain, eighty-eight works by British artists from 1945-1968, on loan from the collections of British Council, the Arts Council, Tate and Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, as well as other public and private collections.

The exhibition begins with works by Henry Moore and Francis Bacon which reflect the state of Britain and Europe immediately after the war: the horror of the concentration camps and the ever-present threat of the atomic bomb.

The title, Let Us Face the Future, comes from the Labour Party's slogan for their 1945 electoral campaign, which culminated in the unexpected defeat of the Conservatives led by Winston Churchill. The incoming Labour government established the welfare state in the UK, bringing about changes in British society which eventually led to the explosion of creativity and freedom of 1960s London; David Hockney's daring exploration of his sexuality, the sculptural revolution led by Anthony Caro, and the optical paintings of Bridget Riley. Other influential artists included in the exhibition are Eduardo Paolozzi, a Scot of Italian origin who with Bunk, a series of collages started in 1952, anticipated what would come to be Pop Art, and Richard Hamilton, creator of the 1956 collage Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing, which is considered to be the first work of the British Pop movement.

The range of art in Britain in this period is displayed in other sections devoted to the painters of St. Ives (a fishing village in Cornwall where an influential artists' colony became established) including Peter Lanyon and Roger Hilton; the British Constructivists led by Victor Pasmore; and the revival of figurative painting by Lucian Freud, Leon Kossoff and Frank Auerbach, among others. The exhibition also includes photographers working in Britain from Bill Brandt to Tony Ray-Jones.

A series of talks has been programmed to accompany this exhibition, in collaboration with the Philosophy Department of the UAB, which will take place in the Fundació Miró auditorium between 6 October 2010 and 16 February 2011.

Exhibition organised by the Fundacio Joan Miro and the British Council and sponsored by Fundación BBVA.

Sponsored by:

  • Fundación BBVA