Sunday 21 October 2018
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Knowsley Galleries

View Exhibition Flyer Here (pdf)

Exhibition: Approaching Thunder
29 January - 7 April 2018
Kirkby Gallery is delighted to present Approaching Thunder, as the first gallery on its national tour.

This exhibition draws from The Hepworth Wakefield’s outstanding collection of 1940s British works on paper, revisiting a decade of anxiety, austerity and idealism that resonates strongly with our lives today. With materials strictly rationed and the art market in crisis, leading artists such as John Piper, Graham Sutherland and Edward Bawden turned to the inexpensive medium of paper.

Although a substantial number of works in the show were produced under the patronage of Kenneth Clark’s War Artists Advisory Committee, these images are in marked contrast to the idealised state propaganda embodied in the art of Nazi Germany. Though government-regulated, the works exhibited here convey individual and subjective experience, exploring ordinary lives under extraordinary shared circumstances. Figures are lost in thought or absorbed in their labours; intricately described landscapes reveal devastation but also the lingering vitality of the natural world.

Perhaps reflecting this move to a renewed social engagement, public interest in modern art soared across the country.

A small group of Henry Moore’s shelter drawings form a particular highlight, while a selection of illustrated books show modernist artists using low-cost lithography to circulate their work across a broad social spectrum.

Teacher First event: Thursday 25 January, 3.45-4.30pm
Private View: Thursday 25 January, 4.30-6.30pm
If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Tina Ball on
0151 443 5617 or
Please note that this is a RSVP event only. Light refreshments available.

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