Historical Context of United Kingdom
Britain has been an essential centre for artistic production for centuries. While it gained considerable wealth from colonisation and the rise of its Empire, it was also unsheltered from the cultural supremacy of other countries and continents. Throughout the modern period, Britain had been significantly overshadowed by the influence of its European neighbours on one side, and of the United States on the other. But towards the end of the 19th century, Britain became a significant centre in the development of the avant-garde. This includes the Arts and Crafts Movement, a cutting-edge movement setting the tone for artist-led organisations, groups and organisational co-operative types that would later become into a template of sorts for bohemian artists movements of the Twentieth Century. Major artistic movements in British modernism include for example Vorticism, involving artists associated with the Bloomsbury group. Some significant British artists of the modern and contemporary period include Stanley Spencer, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Leon Kossoff, Frank Auerbach, David Hockney, Bridget Riley, Paula Rego - and in more recent years the YBA generation led by Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn, Chris Ofili and others.