The British Museum, London

American society from the early 1900s to 1960 is spotlighted in this exhibition. Bringing together 147 prints by 74 artists, it is the first of its kind in the UK for over 25 years.
It opens with John Sloan's etchings of everyday life, including one titled "A Thirst for Art", which depicts fashionable gallery visitors, enjoying drinks, with their backs to the art; it dates from 1939, a few years after the Prohibition against alcohol was lifted. From psychiatric wards by George Bellows and Robert Riggs, through to Edward Hopper's etchings of a stylish couple on a train, and Louis Lozowick graphic lithographs of skyscrapers, the changes affecting American life, and New York in particular, are touchingly rendered. Also featured are Martin Lewis' shadowy nighttime scenes capturing his beautiful way of working with light and Robert Gwathmey's color screenprint of a black hitchhiker resting under billboards displaying an inaccessible, glamorous blonde.
Alongside these are other print works by the likes of Josef Albers, Louise Bourgeois, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock, showing the widespread reach of the developments in print-making.

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