James Joyce's exhibition
Historical Context of United Kingdom
Through colonisation and the consequent rise of its Empire, the United Kingdom reached the status of a giant, although the wealth and economic power did not shelter it from the obvious cultural authority of other continents and countries. With the United States on one side and its European neighbours on the other, Britain had been to a somewhat significant extent outshined by their respective influence on the art of the modern period. But it is towards the end of the nineteenth century that it truly became an essential and vital agent in the development of the avant-garde, through radical and progressive trends such at the Arts and Crafts Movement, which would become essential to the further development of bohemian artists movements or other artist-led guilds of the twentieth century. Vorticism is a noteworthy movement, fundamentally characteristic of British modernism, it involved artists renowned for their affiliation to the Bloomsbury group. A few critically significant British artists of the modern and contemporary era include Stanley Spencer, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Leon Kossoff, Frank Auerbach, David Hockney, Bridget Riley and Paula Rego among others – as well as the YBA generation led by Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn and Chris Ofili, in more recent years.