This might be the year of the Apocalypse according to the Mayan calendar, but artists are coming together to discuss the changes and influence of apocalyptic artwork since the early 19th Century.
Organised by Middlesex University in collaboration with UCL and Tate Britain’s centre for British Romantic Art, the event will see a number of high profile artists and researchers exploring the lasting cultural legacies of apocalyptic artist John Martin’s paintings and the relevance both in Martin’s time and today.
Middlesex University Fine Art lecturer John Timberlake said: “John Martin's view of the end of the world was as real for him in terms of what he understood about the world as, say, climate change or the threat of nuclear war might be for people in our time.
“The way that Martin chose to depict the Apocalypse -large scale paintings and the distribution of engravings from them - may have changed, as has the biblical nature of his cultural framework, but it is hard to imagine much of the imagery seen in, say, science fiction films and illustrations, heavy metal, and popular culture being around if it wasn't for Martin.”
Both John Timberlake and Middlesex History of Art and Design lecturer Luke White will be presenting papers at the one-day conference at Tate Britain titled Landscape and Eschatology on Friday 13 January 2012.
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