Art History talk series - John Francis
19 January 2021
Art after 1950: Art History talks with John Francis, Art Matters.
Interested in art and enjoy visiting galleries? This course aims to deepen your knowledge and experience of modern art. Develop and shape your understanding and opinions, and enjoy a greater appreciation of art.
19 January, 10 – 11.30am
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.
26 January, 10 – 11.30am
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.
2 February, 10 – 11.30am
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.
16 February, 10 – 11.30am
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?
23 February, 10 – 11.30am
Photography and Time-based media
Since the invention of the camera artists have started to ‘play’ with this new creative tool. In this lecture we will explore several film/video and photographic artists. The shocking Surrealist film ‘Un Chien Andalou’(1929) by Salvador Dali and director Louis Bunuel experimented with Freudian themes of the sub conscious. In the UK, Len Lye embarked on ‘camera less’ film making employing raw film stock, paint and found footage in his GPO Classic, ‘A Colour box’ (1935). In the same decade the American government funded the socialist realist photography of Lange, Rothstein and Evans and changed dramatically how American saw themselves. More recently, video art has become a requisite for any collecting modern and contemporary art institution. Over the past couple of decades, museums have embraced digital art, acquiring exemplary works for their collections (Nam June Paik, Bill Viola and Charlotte Prodger).
2 March, 5 - 7pm
Round table discussion with wine tasting
Join Ruth Gooding and John Francis to discuss the film Children Of Unquiet by Mikhail Karikis on show in the downstairs galleries until March 6.
£10 per session (£8 concessions - students/THG Friends). Book via Eventbrite. Limited availability (6 per session). More tickets to be released later, hopefully! Please call 01404 45006 or email email@example.com to go on our waiting list.
Special offer - £50 for 6 sessions including 2 March wine tasting event.