Figure Totem Beast: Sculpture in Britain in the 1950s

29 October 2018–4 February 2019

Exhibition Overview

Startled Bird 1955 by Bernard Meadows 1915-2005

Bernard Meadows, Startled Bird, 1955.

Reflecting the anxieties of the Cold War, artists used new processes and materials to make work that was often uncompromising, immediate and brutal. One critic described it as a ‘Geometry of Fear’.

This exhibition in the Duveen Galleries features younger artists including Lynn Chadwick, Elizabeth Frink and Eduardo Paolozzi alongside older artists such as Jacob Epstein and Henry Moore. It also shows how the approach taken by the young British artists can be measured against the work of international artists. This includes entries to a competition to design a monument to the ‘Unknown Political Prisoner’ in 1953.

(Photo © The estate of Bernard Meadows.)

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