The Mystery of Appearance: Conversations Between Ten British Post-war Painters

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The Mystery of Appearance is a fresh appraisal of ten British artists – Michael Andrews, Frank Auerbach, Francis Bacon, Patrick Caulfield, William Coldstream, Lucian Freud, Richard Hamilton, David Hockney, Leon Kossoff and Euan Uglow – with a display of over forty paintings and drawings including works that haven't been on public display for decades.In the mid-twentieth century this group of artists revived portrait and landscape painting at a time when abstract painting dominated. Their continued influence on a younger generation of artists is demonstrated by the powerful hold figurative art has today.The exhibition examines the influence of the personal relationships between these artists, some of which began in the late 1940s at the Slade where Coldstream, Freud and Hamilton taught and Andrews and Uglow studied; and then again at the Royal College of Art, where Auerbach, Caulfield, Hockney and Kossoff were students.Supported by an essay in which the curator Catherine Lampert discusses their habits and methods and introduces previously unseen writing by the artists, the exhibition looks at the way their conversations impacted on the development of their work, demonstrating that despite their wide-ranging styles they are each linked by a desire to catch what Bacon describes as 'the mystery of appearance within the mystery of making', and in doing so broke new ground in contemporary painting.Published on the occasion of the exhibition the Mystery of Appearance: Conversations Between Ten British Post-War Painters, at Haunch of Venison, London, 7 December 2011 – 18 February 2012