Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Aspects of British Painting 1951-1966
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 11 x 1 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 2500 word essay  100%
Supplementary Assessment Re-submission of an essay, different questions. 

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate an understanding of the key concepts in British post-war painting within the period 1951-1966.

Evidence a basic knowledge of some of the key principles that have preoccupied British painters of the figure since WW11.

Evidence a basic knowledge of theories concerning the language of abstract and non-figurative painting as practised by British painters in the period 1951-1966.

Frame an argument and formulate an essay in response to questions about painters and paintings covered in the module syllabus.


This module augments and complements the current choice of Part 1 Art History modules and offers a new area of study within the School of Art. As well as giving single honours Art History students more choice, it offers a historical context for the significant number of students who opt for painting and life studies. There are required reading and video screenings to supplement lectures and prepare for essay assignments. It is envisaged that the course syllabus may partly be directed towards items in the School of Art's prints and drawings collections which are rich in post-war art, allowing for a number of different modes of study and learning, including an opportunity to examine original works in the Collection.

Brief description

The post-war period in British art was a time of flux and rapid change when styles from Europe in the form of Tachisme and the Ecole de Paris mixed with influences from America such as Abstract Expressionism. It was also a time of political uncertainty - the height of the Cold War, when Britain lived with the ever-present threat of nuclear annihilation. But a much-heralded New Elizabeth age brought optimism too, and a young Queen ruled during a transitional period of decolonization that brought Commonwealth artists in their hundreds to live and work in Britain. This module introduces students to the rich mix that was the British art world in the 1950s - a time when 'artists worked without safety nets'. From Kitchen Sink to the London School and British Pop, what emerges is the distinctiveness of so much British art, a style that eventually became a very saleable 'brand' in the Swinging Sixties.


  1. Tonic for the Nation: Art of the Festival of Britain (1951)
  2. Kitchen Sink: Bratby, Smith, Middleditch and Greaves (1954-56)
  3. Artists and Place: Neo-Romanticism/St. Ives
  4. British Abstraction: '9 Abstract Artists'/Constructionism/'Situation' (1950-60)
  5. 'This is Tomorrow' (1956)
  6. British Tachisme and Action Painting (c.1958-61)
  7. Camden Town to Soho: The School of London
  8. Painting Flesh
  9. Flag of Convenience: British Art and the Commonwealth 1958-63
  10. 'Pop Goes the Easel': Pop Art in the Swinging Sixties 1962-66

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number n/a
Communication Taught and ineractive (lectures) Through academic writing
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will have the chance to reflect on their learning and performance through essay feedback.
Information Technology Word processing, dealing with digital images, and use of Blackboard and other e-learning interfaces.
Personal Development and Career planning Time management and self-directed research.
Problem solving
Research skills The essay requires the student to effectively carry out research using the Hugh Owen Library and possibly the National Library.
Subject Specific Skills
Team work n/a


This module is at CQFW Level 4