Modern British Masters: drawings and paintings on paper is the title of Reading Museum & Gallery
s latest exhibition. The show offers treasures from the Museums collection of twentieth & twenty first century art and illustrates some of the approaches to drawing and painting that British artists have developed in the twentieth century.
Visitors will enjoy works by leading British artists from wartime portraits to 1960s landscapes and 1990s abstracts. They will see how artists have explored the properties of pastel, charcoal and collage and new types of paint to make great art.
Commenting Elaine Blake, Senior Art Curator Reading Museum & Gallery said This is an exciting show for both serious art aficionados and a great introduction to those looking for the threads that connect modern British art in the twentieth century. There are works by over twenty artists produced throughout every decade of the past century including Alan Davie, Keith Vaughan, Charles Ginner, Eric Kennington, Gilbert Spencer, David Bomberg, John Piper, Elizabeth Blackadder, Diana Rattray and Eric Ravillous
Traditionally drawing and watercolour were used to record what artists observed or to develop ideas for finished works. The finished works, which were usually oil paintings, were then made in their studios.
From the late nineteenth century, traditional definitions of types of art blurred and works on paper became more valuable in their own right. Drawing and painting on paper became central to the exploration of Modern ideas of expression, experimentation and the investigation of abstract theories.
The materials used on paper principally pencil, charcoal, pastel, ink, watercolour and gouache have an immediacy which allows artists to record their sensations and emotions quickly. They are portable and relatively cheap compared with other art materials, which means they can be mixed, incorporated with collage or discarded if the artist is dissatisfied. This frees the artist to be spontaneous and to work on a number of images simultaneously or as part of a series exploring a particular idea.