April 17, 1997
Vol. 16, No. 15

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    From blast to pop

    s Several of Britain's most avant-garde 20th-century artists are featured in the Smart Museum exhibition "From Blast to Pop: Aspects of Modern British Art, 1915-1965," opening today, April 17, and continuing through June 15. Events related to the exhibit include a British film series featuring introductions by University faculty members, a staged reading of Look Back in Anger by John Osborne, a poetry reading by Thom Gunn and guided tours of the exhibit. (See the Calendar, pages 6-8, or http://csmaclab-www. uchicago.edu/SmartMuseum/ for more information.) "We are particularly excited about this exhibition because we think it will be a revelation, even to those who know quite a lot about 20th-century British history, literature and culture," said Kimerly Rorschach, Director of the Smart Museum of Art. "While most Americans are familiar with the names of Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, Winston Churchill and the Beatles -- to name just a few towering figures -- the names of British contemporary artists such as Helen Saunders, William Turnbull, Eduardo Paolozzi and John Bratby are virtually unknown."

    "From Blast to Pop" features these artists as well as works by the more familiar Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Jacob Epstein. The exhibition explores paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture executed in the 50-year period between two defining moments in English modernism: the emergence in 1914 of England's first abstract movement, Vorticism, and the appearance of British Pop art in the 1950s.

    Drawn almost entirely from the Smart Museum's own collection, "From Blast to Pop" spans these pivotal periods of art history with a wide-ranging selection of art that includes a rare Vorticist collage by Saunders, a range of drawings and sculptural projects by Moore and a group of early Pop works.

    Following its Chicago debut, "From Blast to Pop" will tour nationally. It will include a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Richard Born, Smart Museum Curator, and Keith Hartley, Assistant Keeper of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

    For museum hours and other information, see the Calendar.