This major group exhibition marking the Centenary of the First World War explores how artists have communicated the impact of military conflict on the body, mind, environment and human senses between 1914 and 2014.
The show examines how artists from 1914 onwards depicted the devastating impact of new military technologies utilised in a century of conflict beginning with the First World War. It brings together work from a range of leading artists including Henry Lamb, CRW Nevinson, Paul Nash, Otto Dix, Nancy Spero, Richard Mosse, Omer Fast and features works by the hibakusha; survivors of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima which were created in the 1970s and are being shown in the UK for the first time.
The First World War involved a profound re-configuration of sensory experience and perception through the invention of devastating military technologies, which destroyed human lives and altered the environment beyond recognition. Its legacy has continued and evolved through even more radical forms of destruction over the last hundred years. Throughout the century, artists have struggled to understand the true effect of modern technological warfare. While military and press photography have brought a new capacity to coldly document such lethal displays, artists found a different way of seeing.
Manchester Art Gallery has a nationally important collection of art of the First World War, which was assembled by its first director, Lawrence Haward. Taking this rich collection as the starting point, this show includes historic and contemporary art from the UK, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, the United States, Canada, Japan, Vietnam, New Zealand, Algeria, Ireland, Iran, Israel and Palestine.