Anna McNay

Review of Refiguring the 50s at Ben Uri


Refiguring the 50s

Ben Uri, London

14 November 2014 – 22 February 2015

Exhibitions at Ben Uri are
reliably educative, offer a historical overview, bring together artists whose
work deserves comparison or joint consideration, and provide rigorous yet
accessible literature, both on the gallery walls and in the accompanying
publications. Refiguring the 50s is no exception. The exhibition collects the
work of five figurative painters working in Britain in the 50s: Joan Eardley (1921-1963),
Sheila Fell (1931-1979), Eva Frankfurther (1930-1959), Josef Herman (1911-2000)
and LS Lowry (1887-1976). Each is distinctive in his or her style, but a common
interest in society, working people as subject matter and the underlying human
condition provides a thread which strings the works together and allows the
gallery, and curator Sarah MacDougall, to spin a narrative and create a vivid
picture of the era and its social change, patchworking together these various

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