Sotheby’s London – The New Situation: Art in London in the Sixties, until 11th September 2013
The Sixties was a decade of energy and change in Britain with the world focusing on our fashion designers, photographers, film stars, musicians and the London art scene. The latter is recalled and celebrated in this show put together by Sotheby’s Modern & Post-War British Art specialists and the legendary art dealer Kasmin. Some exhibits are on sale, others are on loan and a number works are being shown publicly for the first time.
Kasmin’s gallery was opposite Sotheby’s (118 New Bond Street) and its “white cube” space marked a significant change from the normal gallery look of the time. He gave David Hockney and others their first break. Some of the artists he showed have gone on to have international acclaim such as Hockney, Bridget Riley and Anthony Caro but this show mixes them with their contemporaries who are now somewhat regrettably overlooked. The excitement that this new generation of young artists stirred is perhaps best summed up in Kasmin’s own words:
“In the 60s, optimism arose in the art world and we newer people thought we could change the prevailing British culture and make the Visual rival the Literary attitude. We admired daring and enthusiasm.
We were enemies of ‘good taste’. For us, paintings were no longer adjuncts to polite living, and sculpture went wild. No more ‘over the mantelpiece’ or on a plinth, the artworks challenged and exulted. We were on a several year-long ‘high’.”
Seriously, do go along and see this and re-live the 1960s art scene!
Images courtesy of Sotheby’s