ENG 338B: Dr. Harding | The Contemporary British Novel: British Art and Art Movements

URL: https://libguides.cmich.edu/ENG338BHarding

Explore different British artists and art movements that share the themes of each author.

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Ian Fleming and the 1950s

Richard Hamilton, "Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing?", 1956

While most people think of Pop Art as a quintessentially American art movement, it's roots actually began in the early 1950s in Britain. This work by Richard Hamilton foretells many of the elements that the movement would come to embrace (consumerism, celebrity, sex, comic books, etc.). Richard Hamilton also provided the first definition of pop art: "Pop Art is: Popular (designed for a mass audience), Transient (short-term solution), Expendable (easily forgotten), Low cost, Mass produced, Young (aimed at youth), Witty, Sexy, Gimmicky, Glamorous, Big business".

Ian W. Hill, Flickr Images

Peter Blake, "On the Balcony", 1955-57

"On the Balcony" is another early Pop Art work, painted by esteemed British artist Peter Blake. Blake often played with aspects of popular culture and modern art versus traditional, "high" art in his paintings. It features various images of the theme 'On the Balcony', including a painting by Eduoard Manet of the same name (high art) and magazine clippings of the royal family (popular culture). Many of his paintings explore the idea of the old versus the new.

Tate Gallery, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/blake-on-the-balcony-t00566

Pauline Boty, "Untitled (Sunflower Woman)", 1963

Pauline Boty was the only female artist of the Pop Art scene in Britain. Just as the women in Fleming's novels play a specific stereotypical and overtly sexual role, she was mostly ignored and written off by her male contemporaries because she was beautiful, blonde, and also an actress. She has only recently been 'rediscovered' and lauded for her female perspective on the political and social events of her time.

© Mayor Gallery, London / Bridgeman Images

Pauline Doty, "Untitled (Seascape with Boats and Island)", 1960

Another early collage work of Pauline Doty's, commenting on British colonialism from a female perspective. This is another great example of artists of the time looking critically at Britain's past and questioning the way forward.

Pauline Doty went on to create some of her more well-known works of the Pop Art movement in the 1960s.

Pauline Boty Estate. Photo credit: Pallant House Gallery, Chichester

"From Russia With Love" movie poster, 1964

Image: TheMovieDB.org

"From Russia With Love" movie poster, 1964

Image: TheMovieDB.org

Pat Barker: Representing the Trauma of War

Paul Nash, "We Are Making a New World", 1918

Paul Nash's 1918 oil on canvas painting "We are Making a New World" depicts a bleak landscape destroyed by Word War I battles.
Paul Nash, 1918, n.p.
IWM (Art.IWM ART 1146), http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/20070.

Paul Cummins, "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red", 2014

"Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red" was an art installation at the Tower of London, created by Paul Cummins. 888,246 ceramic red poppies were "planted" in the Tower's moat, each poppy representing a British military fatality during the first World War 1914-18.

Adam Singer/Flickr Images

Graham Sutherland, "Devastation, 1941: An East End Street", 1941

"Devastation, 1941: An East End Street" was painted by Graham Sutherland in 1941. He was employed by the War Artist's Advisory Committee to record World War II, and many of his works focused on bomb devastation during the London Blitz.

© Tate, (CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0), https://media.tate.org.uk/art/images/work/N/N05/N05736_10.jpg.


Graham Swift: Modern and Postwar Art

Frank Auerbach, "Primrose Hill", 1967-68

Frank Auerbach was known for his emotional paintings. He would build up paint thickly on a canvas and scrape it repeatedly, forming many layers. He often painted the same subject over and over again: this particular landscape, Primrose Hill, he returned too many times in every season and type of weather.

Modern artists began to move towards less representational kinds of art and incorporated more emotion and texture into their paintings. Many artists were grappling with dark and sombre feelings after the end of the Second World War, and chose to reject the traditional styles of painting up until that point.

Image: Tate, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/auerbach-primrose-hill-t01270

L. S. Lowry, "Going to Work", 1943

 L. S. Lowry's paintings focused on "the working man". He created dozens of paintings of industrial Britain between 1940 and 1960. His style of painting featured simplistic figures, often in similar dark clothes, with views of the working factories and buildings of Britain in the background.

IWM (Art.IWM ART LD 3074) https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/17026

Lucian Freud, "Hotel Bedroom", 1954

Lucian Freud was one of the main portrait artists of the 20th century. He painted emotional and expressionistic portraits, that were considered to have a strong psychological impact. "Hotel Bedroom" was an early painting by Freud portraying himself and his second wife. The portrait illustrates the anxiety and tension in their relationship at that time.

WikiArt, https://www.wikiart.org/en/lucian-freud/hotel-bedroom

Hanif Kureishi: Exploring Gender & Identity

Grayson Perry, "Aspects of Myself", 2001

Image: Tate, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/perry-aspects-of-myself-t07904

David Bowie, Kasai Yamamoto, and Transcending Gender Boundaries

David Bowie and his created alter-ego, “Ziggy Stardust”, represent the new freedom and exploration of identity found in the 1970s. The image of Ziggy Stardust was in part created by Kasai Yamamoto, a Japanese designer known for his iconic and gender-bending stage outfits.

"Bowie in Kasai Yamamoto" Image from https://www.messynessychic.com/2020/07/28/an-ode-to-the-man-who-dressed-ziggy-stardust/

David Hockney, "Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)", 1972

Image from https://www.christies.com/features/David-Hockney-Portrait-of-an-Artist-Pool-with-Two-Figures-9372-3.aspx

Jeannette Winterson and LGBTQ+ Art

Rachel House, "To Be Normal is Not a Healthy Aspiration", 2019

Image: ArtSpace, https://www.artspace.com/rachael-house/to-be-normal-is-not-a-healthy-aspiration-2009

Anya Gallaccio, "Preserve 'Beauty'", 1991, image 1

Image 1

Tate, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/gallaccio-preserve-beauty-t11829

Anya Gallaccio, "Preserve 'Beauty'", 1991, image 2

Image 2

Tate, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/gallaccio-preserve-beauty-t11829

Anya Gallaccio, "Preserve 'Beauty'" detail, 1991

Tate, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/gallaccio-preserve-beauty-t11829

Gluck, "Medallion (YouWe)", 1936

Sam Selvon and the Windrush Generation

Denzil Forrester, "Jah Shaka", 1983

Image: https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/culture/article/life-between-islands-tate-exhibition

Tam Joseph, "The Spirit of the Carnival", 1982

Image: V&A, https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O136603/spirit-of-the-carnival-print-tam-joseph/

Tam Joseph, "UK School Report", 1983

Image: ArtUK.org, https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/uk-school-report-72470

Althea McNish, "Golden Harvest", 1959, textile design

Image: Victoria and Albert Museum, London, https://www.vam.ac.uk/articles/althea-mcnish-an-introduction

Bernadine Evaristo: Cultural Fusion and the Black British Experience

Sonia Boyce, "She Ain't Holding Them Up, She's Holding On (Some English Rose), 1986

Image: Tate, Who is Sonia Boyce? https://www.tate.org.uk/kids/explore/who-is/who-sonia-boyce

Claudette Johnson, "Figure in Raw Umber", 2018

Image: Tate, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/johnson-figure-in-raw-umber-t15261

Singh Twins, "Indigo: The Colour of India", 2018

Image: https://www.singhtwins.co.uk/index.html

Miranda Forrester, Naked Truths series, 2020

Image: https://www.mirandaforrester.com/

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