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"The British are Coming" Exhibition Opens Feb. 11

PLATTSBURGH, NY __ What happened to British cultural attitudes, particularly in the visual arts during the 1960s - 70s?  Where did the revolution come from in the explorations of the 1950s? David Powell, graphic arts professor in the Art Department at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh and guest curator of the exhibition, "The British are Coming," explores the artwork and aesthetic thinking of this time, looking for ideas and images that will answer these questions.

The exhibition opens on Saturday, Feb. 11 with a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Burke Gallery. Powell will give a curator's guest lecture at 3 p.m. in Yokum 200.

Drawing his material mainly from the permanent art collection at Plattsburgh State, including a group of prints donated by the Ackerman Foundation in 1981 and his art history knowledge from his extensive study of the period, Powell has created an exhibition that gives us an exciting visual experience along with a careful analysis of the cultural questions of the time.  Peter Blake, Richard Hamilton, David Hockney, R.B. Kitaj, Tom Phillips and Joe Tilson are just some of the artists included in this exhibition.

Speaking of the artists, Powell said, "The willingness of this generation of British artists to explore new territory and mine all aspects of contemporary existence for their subject matter reflects a profound change in British art, which prior to their revolutionary theory and work had reflected the elitist and stultified taste of the gentry.  The freedom from cultural and class distinctions that the work of these artists represents make them significant players in the art history of the second half of the 20th century, paving the way for both a Pop and a postmodern sensibility."

The exhibition will be on display at the Burke Gallery at the Plattsburgh Art Museum through April 9.  The Burke Gallery and the Plattsburgh Art Museum are open daily, noon to 4 p.m. except for legal holidays.

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