Käthe Kollwitz exhibitions in Birmingham

Käthe Kollwitz (1867–1945) was one of the leading artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, notable for the emotional power of her drawing, printmaking and sculpture. Ikon gallery in Birmingham is currently holding a retrospective of the artist’s work, to which the Barber Institute has lent two prints. Camilla Smith, lecturer in the history of art at Birmingham University, and I have also curated a display at the Barber, which looks at Kollwitz in context with her contemporaries.

Have a look at my post, here, on Ikon’s blog for more information about Kollwitz and how these two Birmingham exhibitions link together.



‘Landscape to sculpture: John Bridgeman 1916 – 2004’

Published in The University of Warwick student newspaper, The Boar, in February 2013

This new temporary exhibition at Leamington Spa Art Gallery is the first retrospective of the war artist John Bridgeman’s diverse practice, bringing together not only the story of his life and development of his work, but also charting and commenting upon social history – particularly that of WW1 – and his fellow contemporary artists, such as Henry Moore and Paul Nash. There are also references to other artists from different periods, indicating Bridgeman’s extensive art-historical knowledge and academic approach to his own artwork.

Bridgeman was Head of Sculpture at Birmingham University from 1955 to 1981, and later lived in Leamington for over 40 years.

On display there is a vast collection of paintings, sculpture, maquettes and drawings done with a huge range of media, techniques and styles. This shows Bridgeman’s exceptional training as an artist and experimental craftsman.

The exhibition begins by looking to the past and to artists such as Turner and Whistler, which are evoked in Bridgeman’s early landscape paintings. The first three oil paintings are inspired by Whistler’s Nocturne Series Blue and Gold 1872-5. There is a peacefulness and ‘mistiness’ to these paintings that noticeably disappears in Bridgeman’s later work completed during and after the war.  Continue reading