The Woodgates


See also individual ARTISTS

Understanding Modern Art
An understandable and accessible introduction to art from the early 20th century to date. (Also ideal as a Study Day/Day of Special Interest.)

The ‘Wild Beasts’ of 1905 – Fauve and French Expressionist Painting
The French equivalent of German Expressionism is full of colour and a sense of joie de vivre, and artists such as Matisse and Derain caused a sensation when their works were exhibited alongside a classicised sculpture in Paris in 1905. A critic referred to the sculpture as “Donatello parmis les fauves” (Donatello among the wild beasts), giving the name to the movement.

Self-portraits in Modern Art
Artists in the 20th and 21st centuries have found new and exciting ways of exploring this traditional and much-loved theme.

Getting to grips with Abstract Art
From Mondrian’s spiritual and regulated abstraction to Jackson Pollock’s drips and splashes, Abstract art can confuse and bemuse. This lecture gives the historical background and the rationale behind this difficult subject.

The second Elizabethan Age – British Art since 1952
A great richness and variety can be seen in the work of post-war British artists, including Bacon, Freud, Hockney and the younger generation, e.g. Gormley, Hirst and Emin, all of whom have been instrumental in placing British art at the forefront of the international avant-garde by the turn of the century.

The Turner Prize explained
Established in 1984 and causing controversy almost every year since then, the Turner Prize is regarded by many as a great showcase for British avant-garde art, and by others as conceptualist rubbish. Nevertheless, the exhibitions each Autumn continue to draw larger and larger crowds. This lecture looks at great winners (and losers) from the past and clarifies the ideas behind the annual competition.

Tate Modern – a 21st century phenomenon
In its first year (2000/2001) the new Tate gallery on the south bank of Thames was expected to attract up to 3 million visitors; in the event well over 5 million people found it irresistible. It still continues to attract more visitors than most of the other major modern art museums in the world.

2016 saw the opening of a 10-storey extension, the Blavatnik Building, which increased the gallery’s capacity by some 60%. This was necessary to house the great expansion of the collection of works by artists other than those from Europe or North America, and the increase in the number of works by female artists since the 1960s.

The War to end all Wars - the Art of World War I
The horrors of the First World War had a profound effect on the artists who fought in it, and they produced powerful images of the war and its aftermath. In the 1920s, many artists on the allied side returned to traditional subjects such as tranquil landscapes, while German artists produced powerful polemics against post-war deprivation, the treatment of war wounded and rising militarism. This lecture examines the art of both sides before, during and after the war which was expected ‘to be over by Christmas’.