This summer a new three room display takes post-Second World War art in St Ives as a starting point to explore some of the common characteristics of Modern Art and the shared visual language of artists working in Europe and America from the 1930s to the late 1970s. Drawing on key British and international works in the Tate Collection, this will be the largest and most extensive Collection display at Tate St Ives
for over ten years. Highlights include important works by British and international artists such as Carl Andre, Willem de Kooning, Sol LeWitt, Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock alongside Sandra Blow, Barbara Hepworth, Patrick Heron and Peter Lanyon.
Considering the making and shaping of Modernism in St Ives, and marking some of the breakthroughs, revivals and continuities of artistic ideas which emerge throughout the twentieth century, the exhibition focuses on some of the international meeting points which feed into the story of St Ives and British Art.
In the 1930s, Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth were regularly visiting Paris and encountering artists such as Pablo Picasso and Constantin Brancusi. How did Nicholson find a way to craft the objectness of his painted boards to work with the still-life/landscape he was portraying? How did Hepworth express the subconscious in her direct carvings of the 1930s? From the fragmented still-life paintings of Georges Braque of 1900s to the 1980s driftwood assemblages of Margaret Mellis, Object reveals how Cubism and Surrealism influenced forms in the mid to late twentieth century.
The materiality of paint and its connection to subconscious expression is considered in this room. Recalling significant European influences such as Tachism, Art Informel and Cobra, as well as the development of Abstract Expressionism in America with which a number of St Ives artists had a connection, it considers their influence on artists such as William Scott, Roger Hilton, Patrick Heron, Peter Lanyon and Sandra Blow. It includes works by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Karel Appel.
Works by icons of the twentieth century such as Joseph Albers, Sol LeWitt and Donald Judd help explore the way the grid has drawn painting, sculpture and architecture together, making the viewer both psychologically and physically part of artistic experience. The selection also includes work by Ben Nicholson, Victor Pasmore, Bob Law, Mary Martin and Eva Hesse.
Lily van der Stokker (born 1954) is a Dutch artist based in Amsterdam and New York. This show will be the largest exhibition of her work to date in the UK.