Historical Context of United Kingdom
The UK has been a crucial hub for artistic production for centuries. While it accrued tremendous wealth from colonisation and the rise of its Empire, it was also unsheltered from the cultural influences of other countries and continents. Throughout the modern era, Britain had been to a great extent overshadowed by the status of its European neighbours on one side, and of the United States on the other. But in the late 19th century, Britain became an important focal point in the development of the avant-garde. This includes the Arts and Crafts Movement, a major movement paving the way 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. Ground-breaking artistic movements that epitomize British modernism include for example Vorticism, involving artists part of 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.