The story of modern British art has been strongly influenced by the major events of the 20th century. Breaking with Tradition explores the development of modern art in Britain during a period of immense change, reflecting the influence of European art as well the impact of political, social and cultural changes.
The impact of war manifested itself in the fragmented style of paintings included in the exhibition, such as Ypres after the First Bombardment by CRW Nevinson. The aftermath of the 1st World War saw a retreat to a more traditional and quintessentially English style of art in the work of Edward Bawden and Stanley Spencer who are represented in Breaking with Tradition. The decades following the 2nd World War saw a reaction against the austerity of the 1940s and a renewed engagement with the modern world, explored through the work of artists such as Richard Hamilton, Patrick Caulfield and Prunella Clough.
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