- Release: 1995
- Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
- Price: FREE
- File: PDF, 234 page
- ISBN: 0198174055
Alex Seago's book has been inspired by his desire to understand and discover the origins of postmodern culture in Britain. One of the main points of his study is that it was art and design students who were among the first to be aware of and to articulate social implications of postmodernculture. Arguing that postwar art schools provided a vital crucible for the development of a particuarly English cultural sensibility, he focuses on cultural change at the Royal College of Art, London, during the 1950s and 1960s. The students' attack on the English 'box of beautiful things' - aterm used by a former student to describe the neo-Romantic, neo-Victorian, highly decorated tastes of some RCA tutors - took several forms which eventually resulted in the Pop Art produced by the 1959-62 generation (Boshier, Phillips, Jones, Hockney et al.)Alex Seago traces the emergence of English postmodernism through the pages of ARK: The Journal of the Royal College of Art, interviewing ARK's editors, art editors, and contributors including Len Deighton, novelist and art editor of ARK 10; Clifford Hatts, student at the RCA 1946-8 and later head ofthe Design Group, BBC; Peter Blake (RCA Painting School, 1953-6); Robyn Denny (RCA Painting School, 1954-7). ARK's object of enquiry remained 'the elusive but necessary relationships between the arts and the social context' throughout its twenty-five year history, making it a valuable archive forthe cultural historian: in its most memorable issues, ARK's layouts complemented the contents to produce distillations of the energy and enthusiasm of the period under review.