This summer Whitford will host a show that will focus on four artists that have worked and lived on both sides of the English Channel and have been instrumental in spreading new aesthetics and ideas after the War and contributed to a greater exchange between the UK and Europe
Living through the political historic epoch of today naturally draws our attention to the freedoms of the art world with its absence of boundaries and national borders. National schools and movements unquestionably exist, but international exchange was often the very originator of a new national style.
During the 20th Century movements such as CoBrA and ZERO were, by definition, international with adherents practicing in different European cities and an exhibition programme touring the world. Abstract Expressionism originated in New York but soon Europe followed with its own version, known as Tachism.
The exhibition Trans-Channel Crossing looks at the free artistic exchange between France and the UK. It was usual practice for British artists to have some training in Paris, where they met colleagues from Holland, Belgium, Germany and Eastern Europe. Back in London, Halima Nalecz and the New Vision Centre set up an international exchange by championing foreign European artists.
The selected works all bear testimony to the inert quality of art to break down boundaries, and reunite on a humanistic level.