Tate St Ives in collaboration with mima present major works by artists Barbara Hepworth, Peter Lanyon and Patrick Heron will be seen alongside that of their international contemporaries and influences in a new exhibition. The new show is curated to celebrate the twenty-first anniversary of the opening of Tate St Ives gallery, and represents the first major rethinking of St Ives art in nearly three decades.
St Ives was an artistic centre of international importance. The group of artists who lived and worked in this fishing port and town on the far south west coast of Britain generally have their work viewed in terms of their location and use of landscape and nature. The exhibition sets out to view the art of St Ives from a far broader perspective, reflecting its position in a wider international modern art world.
The exhibition will be opening at mima in October, titled: ‘International Exchanges: Modern Art and St Ives 1915-65’ and will explore the wider national and international contexts that shaped art in St Ives. The retrospective will recognise that the artists associated with St Ives were connected with others around the world and that their experiences were part of a larger, international search for new forms of art following the Second World War.
‘International Exchanges’ will bring together significant loans from public and private collections in the UK and abroad, including works held by Tate and mima of artists from across Europe and North America – from Georges Braque, Kurt Schwitters, Wassily Kandinsky through to Sam Francis, Sandra Blow, Ben Nicholson, Alfred Wallis and Mark Rothko.
Opening to the public on 24 October, the exhibition will tour; and show how the art of post-war St Ives was developed from two strands of modern art: one the utopian ideals of constructivism that spread from Moscow in the 1910s through Berlin and Paris, between the wars; and the other, a tradition of craft and the handmade that unites the carvings of Brancusi and the ceramics of Bernard Leach and others.