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The Art of Brutalism in 1950s London

Research Seminar – Ben Highmore

  • 22 February 2017
  • 6:00 – 8:00 pm
  • Seminar Room, Paul Mellon Centre

Abstract painting Amongst the Independent Group of artists, critics and architects who met in London’s ICA in the 1950s, the term ‘brutalism’ signalled an array of commitments to modernism, to the raw power of found objects and images, and to un-varnished materials and vernacular forms. The artists associated with this group have often be thought of as early pop artists (Eduardo Paolozzi, Richard Hamilton, John McHale) but they would have thought of themselves as ‘brutalists’ (if they had to identify themselves with an aesthetic tendency). In this talk I will introduce the art of brutalism and pay particular attention to the use of collage amongst this group of artists.

About the speaker

  • Head shot of man with grey hair and glasses

    Ben Highmore is Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Sussex. His most recent books are Culture: Key Ideas in Media and Cultural Studies (2016) and The Great Indoors: At Home in the Modern British House (2014). His book The Art of Brutalism: Rescuing Hope from Catastrophe in 1950s Britain was published by the Paul Mellon Centre in 2017.