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Postwar Modern @ The Barbican

Updated: Jun 24, 2022

The perfect collection in the perfect place. There could hardly be a more appropriate setting for an exhibition of Postwar Modern than the Barbican. Spread over the two floors of the Gallery you get a true reflection of art and culture in those times. The ground floor features the statement paintings and sculptures from Edouardo Paolozzi, David Hockney and Gillian Ayres, while the upper floor presents capsule 'stories' from William Scott, Victor Pasmore, Richard Hamilton and others, including an intriguing view of a house of the future from 1958, that must have been particularly striking in its day. The mood is beautifully sombre and serene in the quieter corners, but vibrant and optimistic in others, a true reflection of the social context. Photographs of urban Manchester from the early '60s remind us of how far we have come and give us a warning of just how fragile our city life can be. Stepping outside into the Barbican courtyard with a drink on the balcony, overlooking the contrast of the gothic St Giles Church framed by the brutalist cityscape of the Barbican, we are reminded that our cities evolve to reflect exactly where we are at any moment, in any era. The Barbican was built in a time of optimism and finds a relevance today by hosting events such as this that will bring us back again and again. Most definitely the perfect show in the perfect setting.

The show finishes on June 26th, you'll have to be quick to catch it, but it's well worth it.

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