Following on from a successful show at the Royal Academy in 2015, curators Harry Heuser and Robert Meyrick from Aberystwyth University have developed a touring exhibition examining the work and world view of printmaker Stanley Anderson RA (1884–1966).
Anderson moved to Towersey near Thame during the Second World War and drew inspiration from the local area. Many of his subjects evoke a sense of nostalgia: craftsmen and farm workers carrying out tasks now performed by machinery, rural scenes that have turned into sprawling suburbia, urban architecture that has been destroyed by war.
Anderson fiercely opposed modernity and his art comments on the dramatic changes he observed in British society. He held these changes to be harmful to the human spirit: in the estrangement from nature, the loss of respect for manual work and the deterioration of communal life.
In exploring these key concerns, Unmaking the Modern follows two main themes: one concentrates on his critique of ‘progress’, the other on the ‘continuity and harmony of spirit’ that he sought and found beyond London.
(All images © Stanley Anderson Estate)