Ben Uri : Art, Identity and Migration – The Art Museum for Everyone
I’m in London for a few days and this morning I walked from the flat between Belsize Park and Swiss Cottage to The Ben Uri Art Museum in St John’s Wood. It’s a 20 minute walk; unfortunately today it was pouring with rain.
Until 2nd March the Gallery is hosting a special exhibition of which I read favourable reviews in the FT Weekend and The Independent. I had never heard of the London Group but it seemed to fit in well with recent exhibitions visited in Kendal and in Leeds.
The Gallery is very small, entrance is free and there is currently no permanent display as ‘Uproar!’ fills all three rooms. Here is a short video introduction from the Gallery website.
“To celebrate The London Group’s momentous centenary year in 2013, Ben Uri and The London Group are working together with two simultaneous exhibitions. Ben Uri has curated and is hosting a major historical exhibition, “Uproar!”: The first 50 years of The London Group 1913-1963, examining the first half century in the group’s turbulent history, while The London Group is holding a separate, complementary, contemporary exhibition showcasing work by its current members at The Cello Factory, London SE1 8TJ.” [source]
It was amazing to see side by side paintings and sculptures by such diverse artists as L S Lowry, Duncan Grant, Walter Sickert, Vanessa Bell, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, C R W Nevinson, Jacob Epstein, Mark Gertler, Roger Fry, Euan Uglow and Leon Kosoff. I was lucky enough to turn up on the day of a tour and introduction by the curator of this small but powerful exhibition. The above video gives a feel of the intimacy of the small gallery and the importance of the works on display. And here are some of my photos of notable works.
Roger Fry’s Portrait of Nina Hamnett (1917)
Nevinson’s Returning to the Trenches ((1915)
Mask in Pentelicon marble by Barbara Hepworth (1928)
Untitled (Iron Sculpture) by Lynn Chadwick