The New Situation, Art in London in the Sixties is a new exhibition planned for Autumn 2012. Curated by the iconic Art Dealer John Kasmin, a figure who formed much of the artistic taste during the Postwar period. The show will be held at Sotheby’s in its New Bond Street galleries, from 4th-14th September. It hopes to recapture the energy and innovation of the time. The New Situation will feature a selection of works to be offered for sale, and a number loaned from distinguished collections – many of which will be on public view for the first time.
The New Situation – Art in London in the Sixties is inspiredby a series of photographs of the ‘London scene’ taken by Lord Snowdon at the end of the 50s and early 60s. Many of these were published in Private View, the remarkable photo essay co-written by critic John Russell and by Bryan Roberston (the maverick director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery) and published in 1965, which encapsulated the British art world at a moment in time when British painters and sculptors, along with British photographers, film stars, musicians and fashion designers had captured the globe’s imagination.
Alongside artists who are now recognisable the world over – David Hockney, Bridget Riley, Lucian Freud – there were many bright young talents who are now less well known, but in the sixties were equally admired and shared gallery and museum show billings celebrating this first generation of ‘Young British Artists’. The New Situation will once again place these artists side by side, introducing contemporary viewers to the likes of Richard Smith, Robyn Denny, Peter Philips, Derek Boshier and John Latham.
It was fifty years ago that Kasmin’s gallery – the first ‘white cube’ style gallery in London – opened just across the road from Sotheby’s, in which he showed young artists from the capital alongside major figures from America and the Continent. In many ways Kasmin – along with Robert Fraser (perhaps now best known for getting arrested along with the Stones and Marianne Faithfull) – was the Sixties art scene in London. Sotheby’s is honoured that he will be curating The New Situation.
The exhibition will run from the 4th to 14th September 2013 at Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries and will be accompanied by a full-colour catalogue including essays, artists’ commentaries from the period and Snowdon’s rarely seen high-colour, high-glamour photographs.
Photo David Hockney By Lord Snowdon