St Ives is unique in modern art. No other small seaside town has been host to such a roll-call of major artists, from Russian Constructivism Naum Gabo and pioneering sculptor Barbara Hepworth to younger artists at the leading edge of post-war abstract art. Michael Bird opens new perspectives on the St Ives story, showing how artists in the far west of Britain were closely connected to wider cultural movements between the 1940s and 1970s.
What made the St Ives phenomenon so unusual was the way in which very different artistic trajectories converged in this one remote place, from London, Moscow and Paris, America and Japan, not to mention Edinburgh and Oxford. Michael Bird explores the interplay between modernism's international ambitions and the St Ives artists' deep engagement with the specifics of place and time.