Modern Art and St Ives

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International Exchanges: Modern Art and St Ives 1915–1965 explores the wider national and international contexts which shaped art in St Ives in the 1940s, 1950s and 60s.

The exhibition is on at Tate St Ives from 17 May – 28 September 2014. It shows how the art of post-war St Ives drew upon two trajectories of modern art: one the utopian ideals of constructivism from Moscow in the 1910s through Berlin and Paris between the wars; the other a tradition of craft and the handmade that unites the carvings of Brancusi and the ceramics of Bernard Leach and others. It puts works by Peter Lanyon, Patrick Heron and other St Ives artists alongside that of their contemporaries from elsewhere in Europe, North America and beyond, to position their art within wider formal, technical and philosophical debates.

The exhibition has been curated by Sara Matson at Tate St Ives, and Rachel Smith, doctoral student at the University of York. It is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue published by Tate St Ives and a series of Tate Papers published in association with Tate’s Research Centre for Creative Communities.