Paul Coombs' exhibition
Historical Context of United Kingdom
Through colonisation and the consequent ascent of its Empire, the United Kingdom reached the status of a giant, although the prosperity and economic power did not shelter it from the apparent 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 rather significant extent outshined by their respective impact on the art of the modern world. But it is towards the end of the nineteenth century that it truly became an essential and crucial agent in the development of the avant-garde, through major and progressive trends such at the Arts and Crafts Movement, which would become fundamental to the further development of bohemian artists movements or other artist-led organisation of the twentieth century. Vorticism is a significant movement, essentially characteristic of British modernism, it involved artists known for their association to the Bloomsbury group. A few critically acclaimed 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.