This one hour talk looks at British art of the First World War. It examines not only stylistic change but emotional responses. It also looks at the deep challenge to the pre-War avant-garde and how it dealt with it.
It includes work by well known official war artists such as Paul Nash, C R W Nevinson and William Orpen as well as lesser known figures such as Mark Gertler, David Bomberg and William Roberts. It is richly illustrated with approximately 50 works.
A potentially depressing and grim theme, it is actually reassuring to see the depth and heart-feltness of the responses to such a tragic event as well as the determination of the authorities to promote individual expression in its commissions of war art. Ultimately it gives us hope that such powerful and humanitarian works were created.
SEE BELOW FOR REVIEW BY JOURNALIST DAVID VASS
‘During the First World War the British government developed a variety of art schemes to bear witness to the conflict. Tania Harrington’s far reaching and ambitious talk on the subject examined how revolutionary changes in both the world of art and the technology of warfare combined to produce a body of work of astonishing power and visceral intensity.
Using a combination of images and pertinent text, Harrington took us through the work of Mark Gertler, Paul Nash, C R W Nevinson and William Orpen with an unusual clarity, pitching the talk at a level that was accessible to novice and enthusiast alike. Consistently engaging, and unapologetically opinionated, she explored with measured, but evident, enthusiasm how the politics and culture of the day influenced the contrasting art movements battling with the hearts and minds of the public, as the avant-garde and traditional styles struggled to find a way to capture the horror of war.
This was a densely informative hour in the finest Reithian tradition – entertaining, educating and enriching – that not only illustrated one of the most vibrant and challenging periods in British Art, but did so in respectful remembrance of the fallen’.
Available as a one hour talk, followed by questions if desired. Cost: £70 + travel expenses