Refuge and Renewal: Migration and British Art

Date: Saturday, Dec 14 2019 - Sunday, Mar 1 2020
Venue: Royal West of England Academy

The RWA presents the inaugural showing of this major touring exhibition, which explores the impact of migrant artists on art in Britain, taking a perspective across the last hundred years.

Artists include: Martin Bloch, Naum Gabo, Camille Pissarro, Mona Hatoum, Josef Herman, Heinz Koppel, Samira Kitman, Josef Koudelka, Peter Lanyon, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Kurt Schwitters, Walter Sickert, György Gordon and Lotte Reiniger.

The migration of creative individuals and groups has always been a source of innovation and cultural cross-fertilisation. Curated by Dr Peter Wakelin, this exhibition looks at how émigré artists in the last hundred years were perceived by their peers in Britain and the extent to which their influence excited or inspired new art.

Its main focus is the crucial influence of émigrés who came from eastern and central Europe during the 1930s and 1940s, but it looks back to the temporary exile of refugees from the First World War (especially from Belgium) and forward to the present, when the reception of refugees from war-torn Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan and their contributions to British life are more contentious than ever.

Pictured: Martin Bloch (1883-1954), Miracle in the Internment Camp, 1941 (detail).

Dec 14-March 1, RWA, Tue-Sat 10am-5.30pm
/ Sun 11am-5pm (closed Dec 24-26 and Dec 30-Jan 1), £6.95. For more info, visit

By steve wright, Thursday, Nov 21 2019

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