Lectures
Lectures are held at the Methodist Church in Kingsbridge and on Zoom at 2:30pm normally on the last Wednesday of each month. They last for 1 - 1½ hours including a question and answer session at the end.
The Second Elizabethan Age: British Art since 1952
Frank Woodgate      Wed 26th September 2012
  Our first lecture of the 2012-2013 programme was a reminder by Frank Woodgate that art both reflects and reacts to its times and, in the context of ‘British Art since 1952’, increasingly invites a response from its public.
The early years of the second Elizabethan age included comfortable work such as the informal ‘Conversation Piece at Windsor’ but the austere post-war decade also produced the Kitchen Sink school and some of Henry Moore’s slightly disturbing images. The greater optimism of the MacMillan years fed Pop Art and a chrome-plated consumer society. Peter Blake’s self portrait, complete with its pin-on badges and cheap blue outfit, parodied Gainsborough’s ‘Blue Boy’. David Hockney painted Mr and Mrs Clark and their cat but also experimented with graffiti on canvas. By the 1970’s ‘isms’ had become ‘wasms’. Art was being redefined.
Post Modernism opened the door to art in a variety of representations. Gilbert and George launched living sculptures; their bright colours hit the senses with Life, Death, Hope and Fear. Rachel Whiteread used concrete to create a cast of the inside of a house; Cornelia Parker’s ‘Cold, Dark Matter, an Exploded View’ was produced with the help of an army disposal squad (a reminder that, alongside Tracey Emin, female artists have moved into the front line during the last 20 years). Images abound. Preserved sheep and sharks reminding us of mortality, skulls cast in platinum and diamonds (or the blood of the artist), carved snow, and shadows made by collections of rubbish. Others have telling references to the plight of refugees, racism and worldwide disasters. David Hockney brings us back to the impressionists’ love of the seasons but delights in the use of modern technology to enhance his work.
The Turner Prize, Tate Modern and the Saatchi exhibitions have had a great impact on our awareness of recent art. Some of this will be forgotten in 100 years time, some will live on. Your guess.