Murals at the Fine Art Society

Recommended this week

In a bid to place murals and decorative art cycles at the heart of 20th century British art, The Fine Art Society, in association with Liss Fine Art, presents a major exhibition dedicated to work undertaken bewteen 1910 and 1970.

The society said: “The exhibition aims to highlight the significance of 20th century murals as one of the greatest inventive achievements in modern British art. despite the counter-intuitive evidence of the size, the murals have unjustly onstituted an almost hidden history in many accounts of 20th century British art. Over the course of the century many great works were destroyed, either by vandalism or the bombs of World War II, or simply as a result of eveolving tastes and chnages to building use. Today the murals that do exist are rarely seen as the artists intended, and are often partially obscured, completely covered up or painted over.”

As well as presenting celebrated paintings by artists including Edward Bawden, Frank Brangwyn, Gilbert Spencer, Colin Gill, Charles Sims, and Peter Lanyon, the exhibition will feature a number of significant works that have previously been overlooked or forgotten, and have only recently re-emerged. Examples include two newly discovered murals that were originally commissioned for the 1951 Festival of Britain; ‘The Englishman’s Home’ by John Piper and Alan Sorrell’s ‘Mural for the Nelson Bar of the HMS Compania’.

Also on view will be two murals by Mary Adshead, which were originally commissioned for Lord beaverbrook’s dining room, subsequently displayed at Peter Jone’s department store and then later listed as destroyed. Also included is ‘Man at Work’ by Barbara Jones, which was originally exhibited at the 1961 Turin Expo and considered by Jones to ne her masterpiece. It has only recently come to light, having spent the last 50 years concealed behind a stud wall in her studio.

British Murals and decorative painting form 14 February – 9 March at The Fine Art Society, 148 New Bond Street, London, W1S 2JT