The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Jacket design by Eric Fraser for Short Lease by Vicky Lancaster, 1950

What’s on in February 2018: the best C20 architecture, art and design

From the glamorous age of ocean liners at the V&A, to British Pop Art, Egyptian Surrealism and Neo-Romantic illustration, this month’s exhibition round-up will banish those winter blues.

Ocean Liners: Speed and Style
V&A, London, from 3 February to 10 June

The art, design and fashion of some of the world’s greatest ocean liners formed part of the golden age of C20 travel. Work by modernist designers, artists and architects, including Le Corbusier, Charles Demuth and Eileen Gray, is shown alongside recovered artefacts from the Lusitania and the Titanic. More

Rhythm and Reaction: The Age of Jazz in Britain
Two Temple Place, to 22 April

This exhibition brings together painting, prints, cartoons, textiles and ceramics, moving film, instruments and the all-important jazz sound, to explicitly examine the influence of jazz on British art, design and wider society. More

Cook’s Camden: an Exhibition
Holborn Library, to 27 April

Professor Mark Swenarton has curated an exhibition for the Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre  exploring the acclaimed housing built by Camden when Sydney Cook was Borough Architect 1965-1973, to tie-in with his recent book Cook’s Camden: The Making of Modern Housing. He will also give a talk there on Tuesday 6 March.

Neo-Romantic Book Illustration in Britain 1943–1955
Heath Robinson Museum, Pinner, from 24 February to 20 May

Following the Second World War, artists like Edward Bawden, John Minton and Eric Fraser brought new colour and emotional intensity to book illustration. This exhibition reflects on the legacy of the short-lived Neo-Romantic style, which drew its influences from William Blake, Samuel Palmer and the Cubist movement. More

Pop! Art in a Changing Britain
Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, West Sussex, from 24 February to 7 May

In the 1950s and 60s British artists like Eduardo Paolozzi, Peter Blake and Patrick Caulfield challenged the relationship between art and mass media. Major works from the gallery’s own collection include Paolozzi’s print series ‘As Is When’ and Richard Hamilton’s ‘Swingeing London’. More

Elizabeth Friedlander / 20 Years of Penguin Essentials
Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, East Sussex, to 29 April

Typographer and artist Elizabeth Friedlander (1903–84) is best known for her decorative covers for the Penguin Scores series and for creating the ‘Elizabeth’ typeface. The exhibition explores her work for the black propaganda unit in Britain during the Second World War and her friendship with poet Francis Meynell. More

The accompanying display of Penguins Essentials reflects on Friedlander’s relationship with the publisher. More

Saving the City
The Architecture Centre, Bristol, to 8 April FREE ENTRY

This installation, which showcases 30 years of factory-built housing by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, was originally designed for the 15th Venice Biennale. From the 1969 ZipUp House to Y:Cube and Tree House, learn how flexible and affordable schemes can help to tackle the worsening crisis in global housing. More

Surrealism in Egypt: Art et Liberté 1938–1948
Tate Liverpool, to 18 March

A rare look at the impact of the Cairo-based Art and Liberty Group on the Surrealist movement. More than 100 drawings, paintings, photos and documents show the radical response of Egyptian artists like Ramses Younane, Inji Efflatoun and Mayo (Antoine Malliarakis) to war, colonialism and social issues. More.

Last chance

RIBA North, Liverpool, until 19 February 2018 FREE ENTRY

How traditional ceramic techniques and digital engineering can be combined to produce meaningful and sustainable architectural features. More.

Still showing

Lubaina Himid: Meticulous Observations and Naming the Money
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, until 18 March 2018 FREE ENTRY

A selection of cut-out figures from Turner Prize-winner Lubaina Himid’s installation, Naming the Money, tell the individual stories of slaves from the 18th and 19th centuries. More

Susannah Straughan


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