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In the late 19th and 20th century, European artists challenged all aspects of the creative process, reflecting the tumultuous times in which they were living.
Painters broke with convention and felt compelled to find a new artistic order. Ideas of line, colour and form were transformed, space and movement captured in ways never previously conceived of. For other artists, there was an urgent need to articulate the spiritual and emotional concerns caused by living in the rapidly changing modern world.
The late 19th century to the end of the 20th century saw the extraordinary evolution of different artistic movements including Post-Impressionism, Cubism, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. Through the work of over 50 artists, this exhibition charts those ideas, the individual passions that powered them and the remarkable creative minds behind them. Crisscrossing from Europe to America, discover the international artistic revolution that was modernism.
The exhibition features stunning prints by Pablo Picasso, Paul Cézanne, Georges Braque and Henri Matisse alongside abstract works by Paul Klee, Hans Hartung and Pierre Soulages. You can also come face to face with portraits by Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Georges Roualt, Käthe Kollwitz and Marie Laurencin.
This will also be the first chance to see Édouard Vuillard's Modèle assise dans un fauteuil, se coiffant (c.1903) after its recent careful conservation.
The exhibition reveals the fascinating stories behind our remarkable collection of international work. Our permanent collection is made from numerous individual collections donated to us over the years. These collectors range from the criminologist Elizabeth Burney to Michael Woodford, a former binman and school caretaker, who amassed a collection including works by Pablo Picasso.