China ai weiwei art
Talks & Seminars

Art after 1950 - art lecture series

Fas­ci­nat­ing new lec­ture series with renowned art his­to­ri­an, John Francis.

This course aims to deepen your knowledge and experience of modern and contemporary art.

8 September, 10.30 – 12.00: Art in Advertising

The relationship of Art to Advertising has an early start. Sir John Everett Millais’ painting of ‘Bubbles’ (1885) was sold for £2,200 (a huge amount at that time) to help sell bars of soap. In this lecture we will trace how the advertising industry became so successful and in particular why advertising in the UK is often thought of as Art. From posters to the fifteen second television adverts, we explore some of the most successful adverts and unpack the psychological and cultural context behind them. Award winning adverts by Guinness, Silk Cut and Nestle will be subject to a detailed analysis.

15 September, 10.30 – 12.00 : Landscape tradition

This wide ranging survey starts in 1749 with Gainsborough’s ‘Mr and Mrs Andrews’. Turner and Constable could be said to portray our national identity through images of peace and plenty while sometimes ignoring unrest and poverty in rural Britain. Later, Stanley Spencer and Paul Nash used landscape as a search for inner knowledge, fantasy and religious values. The photography of Humphrey Spender and Bert Hardy documented the modern urban landscape of the Thirties. More recently, Andy Goldsworthy and Richard Long chose to move from the studio and use the physical material of the landscape itself.

22 September, 10.30 – 12.00: Expressionism

In her formative years as an artist, Tracy Emin was drawn to the expressionism of paintings by both Edvard Munch and Egon Schiele, their concerns in exploring the complex human condition and tortured psyche echoing many of her own burgeoning tendencies. In this talk we will explore key painters in this highly influential movement. We will analyse and focus on the paintings of Munch, Schiele, Grosz, Kollwitz, Dix and Beckmann and the dystopian ‘art cinema’ of Fritz Lang. Moving to America, Expressionism found a new form in the Abstract Expressionist work of Pollock and De Kooning. The movement was later absorbed into the repertoire of modernism and continues to be adapted by today’s artists such as Britain’s own Tracy Emin.

6 October, 10.30 – 12.00: The Art of Protest

To many artists 'Art is rebellion'. In the 18th and 19th century Goya was an essential social and political commentator of Spanish society. In our discussion, we will explore how artists assume the role of activist and critic in the context of bringing about political change. The Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei has become a symbol of resistance in the government corridors of power as well as the open spaces of an art museum. We will explore the work of contemporary protest artists such as Ai Weiwei, Grayson Perry, Kara Walker, Keith Haring and Judy Chicago. How do these artists seek to change and represent a new social consciousness?

13 October, 10.30-12.00: John Francis in conversation with Tim Craven and Deborah Smith

Art historian John Francis will discuss the themes of the current exhibition: In Plain Sight: The London Group & Thelma Hulbert and her London Group Friends with Tim Craven from The London Group and Deborah Smith, researcher at Kingston University.
China ai weiwei art