PREVIEW: Aftermath: Art in the Wake of World War One, Tate Britain

Tate Britain has confirmed details of its upcoming exhibition that examines the impact WWI had on British, German and French art.


Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie. Acquired by the Federal State of Berlin © Estate of George Grosz, Princeton, N.J. 2018. 

Marking 100 years since the end of World War I, Tate Britain’s upcoming exhibition Aftermath: Art in the Wake of World War I will explore the immediate impact of the conflict on British, German and French art, looking at how artists responded to the physical and psychological scars left on Europe.

Bringing together 150 works from 1916 to 1932, by artists including George Grosz, Fernand Léger and C.R.W. Nevinson, the exhibition how artists began to explore new imagery and new ways of making art in their responses to the experience of war, the culture of remembrance, and the rebuilding of cities and lives.

During the war, artist began to construct works that reflected on the long term impact of the Great War, with images of soldiers’ graves such as William Orpen’s A Grave in a Trench 1917 and Paul Jouve’s Tombe d’un soldat serbe a Kenali 1917 evoking silence and absence in the aftermath of battle.

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the war artists such as Käthe Kollwitz, André Mare and Charles Sargeant Jagger were commissioned to produce sculptural memorials to commemorate the conflict. The exhibition will explore the debates behind appropriate styles and forms of memorial, and the importance of their use for social and political cohesion.

Aftermath: Art in the Wake of World War I will also examine the impact  the presence of disabled veterans and how images such as George Grosz’s Grey Day 1921 and Otto Dix’s Prostitute and Disabled War Veteran 1923 used the wounded soldier as a vehicle for social critique on corruption and poverty in Germany.

The exhibition is curated by Dr Emma Chambers, Curator, Modern British Art and Dr Rachel Smith, Assistant Curator, Modern British Art.

Aftermath: Art in the Wake of World War I will be on display at Tate Britain from the 5th June until the 16th September. For more information and to book tickets visit:

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