Claire Zimmerman, Department of History of Art and Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan, will co-curate an exhibition at Tate Britain with Victoria Walsh of the Royal College of Art. The exhibition will open in April 2014.
The exhibition, Aesthetic Slogans: Architecture and Visual Literacy in Postwar Britain [TBC], explores a brief but intense synergy between architecture and photography in the 1950s. As Britain experienced economic hardship and cultural volatility in the wake of a catastrophic world war, a group of prominent young architects, artists, and critics worked to reinvigorate contemporary British culture as an instrument of social change. Organized around the reception of a single building and its photographic representations, the exhibition will adopt a forensic approach, laying out detailed historical material to clarify a period of paradigmatic change in British culture. Centered on 1953 and unfolding forwards and backwards from that critical year, the exhibition looks closely at the work and other activities of two architects, an engineer, a sculptor, and a photographer. It also examines a select group of modern buildings and an influential exhibition of photographs at the Institute of Contemporary Art from 1953, Parallel of Life and Art. Materials will come from collections at Tate Britain as well as two other archives in the United Kingdom.
Claire Zimmerman is the co-editor (with Mark Crinson) of Neo-avant-garde and Postmodern: Postwar Architecture in Britain and Beyond and assistant professor of art history and architecture at the University of Michigan. Her recent work has appeared in OASE, AA Files, Perspecta, the Journal of Architecture, and Harvard Design Magazine.
Victoria Walsh is author of Parallel of Life and Art: Nigel Henderson. She is a visiting research fellow at the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture, University of Westminster; senior tutor at the Royal College of Art, London; and visiting research fellow in the arts and media department at London South Bank.
Research support for this exhibition comes from the Taubman College and the Department of History of Art, both at the University of Michigan.