The shape of things


A highly illustrated book with engaging new essays, published to accompany the first major exhibition for many years to explore the continuing and fundamental relevance of the genre of still life in British art. The publication will delve into some of the most revealing, original and experimental aspects of modern and contemporary British still life.

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SKU: 9781869827687 Category: Tag:


Historically, still life has been viewed as the lowest genre of art, but in fact it has been employed by leading British artists to grapple with some of the most profound themes relating to the human condition, and as a vehicle for artistic experimentation with new forms and ideas. The Shape of Things shows how in the early 20th century British artists renewed the traditional genre of still life for the modern age, a spirit of experimentation with the genre that continues today. Showing how the genre sits at the heart of different artistic movements in Modern British art including the Seven & Five Society, Unit One, the British Surrealist Group, St Ives and post-war abstraction, Neo-Romanticism, pop art, conceptual art and post-war figurative art, and YBAs, it presents a history of British art as understood through the lens of the still life. Other themes which will be touched on include identity, migration, consumerism, existentialism, and climate change, themes that are eminently relevant to contemporary audiences.

Featuring texts from contributors including Simon Martin, Lydia Miller, Miriam O’Connor Perks, Melanie Vandenbrouck, Phoebe Cummins, Michael Bird, Emma Sharples and Chloe Nahum. 
Exhibition Schedule:
Pallant House Gallery, Chichester
(11 May – 20 October 2024)

Additional information

Dimensions 26.7 × 21.6 cm