The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Photo Ken Kirkwood, Foster + Partners

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

Our late spring round-up takes in Postmodernism, superstructures, the first 25 years of Urban Splash and the genius of Edward Bawden.

It Will Never Work: 25 Years of Urban Splash 1993–2018
Gallery One, RIBA North, Liverpool, until 16 June FREE ENTRY

Winners of more than 40 RIBA awards, Urban Splash have made their mark on new-build and refurbishment schemes across the spectrum of residential, leisure and commercial architecture. More

America’s Cool Modernism: O’Keeffe to Hopper
Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford, until 22 July

Paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe, Charles Sheeler and Charles Demuth illustrate the ‘cool’ in American art of the 1920s and 30s – a period of excitement, upheaval and rapid modernisation. More

The Return of the Past: Postmodernism in British Architecture
Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, from 16 May to 27 August FREE ENTRY

Discover the early, ‘radical moment’ of Postmodernism, through the work of leading exponents like Terry Farrell, John Outram and Piers Gough. The exhibition includes drawings, images and full-scale replicas of key ‘Po-mo’ buildings. More

Edward Bawden
Dulwich Picture Gallery, from 23 May to 9 September

The prolific 60-year career of artist and illustrator Edward Bawden (1903–89) spanned book illustration, linocuts, and commercial work for Twinings and Fortnum & Mason. This thematically arranged exhibition also includes his war portraits, as well as rarely seen prints and watercolours. More

Bawden at Home
Fry Art Gallery, Saffron Walden, Essex, until 28 October

In his later years, Edward Bawden lived in Saffron Walden and was a supporter of the Fry Art Gallery. This exhibition includes more than 200 artworks and other items. More

Century of the Child: Nordic Design for Children 1900 to Today
The V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green, London, until 2 September

During the C20 children inspired progressive, influential and fun designs by companies like LEGO, IKEA and Marimekko. There are interactive elements to explore, as well as work by Nordic icons like Arne Jacobsen and Alvar Aalto. More

Superstructures: The New Architecture 1960–1990
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, UEA, Norwich, until 2 September

Marking the 40th anniversary of Norman Foster’s Sainsbury Centre (above), this exhibition explores new technology, lightweight structures and innovative engineering solutions in post-WWII architecture. More

Last chance

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

This exhibition reflects on the legacy of the short-lived Neo-Romantic style, as artists like Edward Bawden, John Minton and Eric Fraser brought new colour and emotional intensity to post-WWII book illustration. More

Ocean Liners: Speed and Style
The V&A, London, 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. More

Coming soon

Elisabeth Frink: Fragility and Power
Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, Cumbria, from 22 June to 29 September

Walking, Madonna, 1981 and Riace III, 1986 are among the larger sculptures by Elisabeth Frink (1930–93) featured in this major retrospective of her work. More

Susannah Straughan


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