The Art of Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell 1905-25
Their contribution to the development of 20th century British painting, reassessed
Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, 16 April – 9 October 2011
Radical Bloomsbury establishes a new understanding of the pictorial imagination of Bloomsbury by re-evaluating the unique painting partnership of Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, exploring their relationship with avant-garde art from 1905 to 25. It demonstrates how these Bloomsbury painters were among the earliest British artists to look at new developments in European art, such as French Post-Impressionist practices, and the importance of their role in modernising British art.
Grant was one of very few British artists who knew Picasso and Matisse in their early days, and Vanessa Bell was an international pioneer of abstract painting. Approximately 80 works (paintings and drawings) are on show; and the exhibition gathers together key paintings by Grant and Bell which embody the new social, emotional and sexual attitudes of what became known as the Bloomsbury Group. These correspond to the ground-breaking writings of Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster and Lytton Strachey.
Radical Bloomsbury provides the cultural and social context within which Grant and Bell worked. For example, Grant spent almost the first ten years of his life in India and Burma; and this backdrop of a still Imperial world will be explored, through photographs and watercolours of Indian scenes by other European artists.
The exhibition is in six sections:
• Bloomsbury before Bloomsbury
• The Exotic, the Oriental and the Ornamental
• The Encounter with Modernism
• An English Expressionism
• Collage and Abstract Adventures
• Homes and Carnivals
Radical Bloomsbury is curated by David Alan Mellor, Professor of Art History at the University of Sussex, with Darren Clarke as assistant curator.
Loans include major works from Tate, the National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Courtauld Gallery, regional galleries throughout England and private collectors, including paintings that have rarely been seen in public before.
For further information on the exhibition themes, please see over. A full list of exhibits is attached
Brighton Museum & Art Gallery: Royal Pavilion Gardens, Brighton BN1 1EE; 03000 290900
Tues to Sun 10am-5pm; Closed Mon (except public holidays 10am-5pm)
Exhibition tickets: Adult £6; Concession £4; Up to 15 years Free; Brighton & Hove Resident £3; members free
Free admission to Brighton Museum, admission payable to the exhibition
Wheelchairs available, lift, gift shop, café.
Joint ticket with Charleston Farmhouse, Sussex home of Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell:
£12 (available 16 April - 16 May and 9 September - 9 October only)