British Modern Masters

Rosenberg & Co.

19 East 66th Street, New York

April 29 – July 21, 2017

Rosenberg & Co. is pleased to present British Modern Masters, a historical group exhibition offering a selective survey of twentieth-century British art.

The cost of war measured in human pain and loss as well as economic devastation, and a waning British Empire combined with new questions of European security set the stage for a complex and significant shift in British artistic movements. The post-war generation of British artists found a unique voice anchored in the Neo-Romantic movement, fed by new purity of form, and reaching for abstract thought. This development was never independent of its historical context and antecedents or free from other artists and adjacent creative movements. It was, however, a unique confluence of events and circumstances, melding brutal events to everlasting optimism and intellectual aspirations. From studies of the human figure in urban or industrial life to honoring form as a pure subject, British Modern art was a vibrant and rich universe of staggering creativity.

British Modern Masters is an intrinsically flawed label. It is usually used to describe a diverse group of artists working in Great Britain from and after World War II through the Sixties. One could easily argue with the designation, or the dates, or that there was any commonality among the artists, or as to who should or should not be included under that umbrella. One cannot argue, however, with the indisputable flourishing of creativity, the significant influence, the continuing legacy, and the unique objects of beauty that emerged during that time.

The exhibition continues the tradition of Paul Rosenberg & Co. who represented several of the artists, including: Kenneth Armitage, Donald Hamilton Fraser, Peter Kinley, Bernard Meadows, and Graham Sutherland. British Modern Masters does not pretend to be an all-encompassing survey of works from the period, but brings renewed attention to many British artists, some now legends of the art historical canon. This exhibition could not have happened without the guidance and collaboration of our friends at Osborne Samuel in London.

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