Truth and Memory is the largest exhibition of British First World War art in 100 years and features over 120 artworks from artists such as Paul Nash, Percy Wyndham Lewis, CRW Nevinson, Stanley Spencer and William Orpen. These artists were united in their attempts to represent and come to terms with the events of the First World War.
In the first section of the exhibition, Truth, the soldiers themselves are the artists, recalling their experiences of the brutality of war and the quiet moments of human suffering within the overarching visual language of destruction and death. Particularly fascinating are the contributions from CRW Nevinson where the angular shapes of his Futurist style in La Mitrailleuse blur the distinction between flesh and machine. Nevinson’s style went on to change drastically following his experiences as a volunteer in the Royal Army Medical Corps.
The idea of memory dominates the second section of the galleries in which viewers are asked to consider how art has helped to shape how the modern perception of the First World War and how a contemporary sense of identity and morality was carved out in the wake of such atrocities. The lasting memorial of war is evident in the Imperial War Museum’s commissioned work, Shop for Machining 15-inch Shells by Anna Airy. In this portrait of a munitions factory, we are reminded of the contributions of women to the war effort and the harsh conditions endured to support soldiers on the front line.
Other commissioned works to look out for include John Singer Sargent’s Gassed, William Orpen’s To the Unknown Soldier in France and Wyndham Lewis’s A Battery Shelled, as well as Jacob Epstein’s sculpture, The Tin Hat.
|What||Truth and Memory: British Art of the First World War, Imperial War Museum|
|Where||Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, London , SE1 6HZ | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Lambeth North (underground)|
19 Jul 14 – 08 Mar 15, 12:00 AM – 12:00 AM
19 Jul 14 – 08 Mar 15, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
|Website||Click here for more information|