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The Expressive Mark

A new exhibition at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery explores a crucial moment in the history of British Art.

The Expressive Mark traces the significant contribution to British post-war art made by the pioneering artists exploring the abstract.

Opening on 17 November, the exhibition displays the British artists who produced works on a new scale, embraced the possibilities of abstraction, and developed new signature mark-making techniques influenced by Abstract Expressionism in America, which was filtering across the Atlantic.

... the post war generation of painters ... showed an ambition of scale and energy frequently expressed in visceral, gesturally directed artistic practice

Anne Goodchild, exhibition curator

The exhibition highlights paintings from the University of Leeds’ own outstanding collection, alongside examples of British abstract art on loan from across the country. Artists on display include Peter Lanyon, Roger Hilton, Gillian Ayres, Albert Irvin and Patrick Heron.

Exhibition curator Anne Goodchild said: “To the post war generation of painters a new freedom of expression was offered by renewed contact with continental developments. This liberation resulted in a wide range of individual responses which showed an ambition of scale and energy frequently expressed in visceral, gesturally directed artistic practice. This exhibition seeks to showcase something of the diversity and dynamism of that practice.”

Come to experience the shared dialogue and formal concerns of these artists and trace their significant contribution to the development and history of British post-war art.

The exhibition is open from 17 November 2021 to 2 April 2022 at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, in the Parkinson Court.

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