Jamie Jonathan Ball
Jamie Jonathan Ball in private collections
Historical Context of United Kingdom
Britain has been a crucial centre for artistic production for centuries. While it gained tremendous 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 to a great extent eclipsed 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 an important focal point 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 that characterize British modernism include for instance Vorticism, comprised of artists associated with the Bloomsbury group. Some notable 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.