ref: bUv Nov 21-Dec 21 2007 OSBORNE SAMUEL Towards a Rational Aesthetic: Constructive Art in Post-War Britain - return to Galleries PR Index

Towards a Rational Aesthetic: Constructive Art in Post-War Britain

21 November – 21 December 2007

Private View: Tuesday 20 November, 6 – 8pm

Osborne Samuel Gallery has built a reputation for pioneering exhibitions of Modern British art. We are particularly keen to call attention to artists of the post-war period who may have been recently neglected, and who certainly justify a proper re-appraisal. This exhibition of post-war British Constructive art does just that.

Jeffrey Steele
Square in Cinematic Rotation through 90 degrees 1960
Gouache on paper
26 x 36 cm (10 ¼ x 14 ¼ in)

In 2005 Osborne Samuel held the highly acclaimed exhibition Nine Abstract Artists – Revisited, which recreated as a group the work of a collection of artists who had originally exhibited together in the eponymous 1955 exhibition organised by Lawrence Alloway, an exhibition which highlighted the significance and progressive nature of British Abstract Art of the time. Now, in 2007, Towards a Rational Aesthetic: Constructive Art in Post-War Britain picks up where Nine Abstract Artists left off, including many of the artists who were in the original 1955 exhibition. It follows the development of British Abstract art from its Constructivist roots with Victor Pasmore’s Constructionist Group through to the later vanguard of artists who founded the Systems group alongside Jeffrey Steele and Malcolm Hughes. It also includes the subsequent branches of op-art and geometric abstract styles such as the group of artists from the West Country who also emerged at the same time in response to and as a result of the methods which underpin the Constructivist movement.

The gallery has assembled an exceptional collection of nearly sixty works from nineteen key artists of the period, spanning over fifty years of British Avant-garde art. It comprises paintings, sculpture, works on paper and reliefs. Many of these artists have received far more recognition in mainland Europe than in their home country. This exhibition provides for the first time an opportunity to examine these artists from within a broad Constructive context. We will emphasise the breadth and astoundingly forward-thinking nature of their work and also hopefully raise the profile of the movement, and the artists themselves.

This exhibition follows on from the UK touring exhibition soon to arrive at Tate St Ives of works by Kenneth and Mary Martin, both of whom were key figures of Constructivism. This, and the forthcoming exhibition at Southampton Art Gallery in January 2008, curated by Alan Fowler, confirm the resurgence of interest in this movement

For further information on the exhibition or to request high resolution images or a copy of the extensive exhibition catalogue, please contact Lucy Tyler at the gallery: