Ice Age: Art Arrival of the Modern Mind

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Bison sculpted from mammoth ivory, Found at Zaraysk, Russia, about 20,000 years old. © Zaraysk Museum of Art and History. Dr Sergey Lev.
Ice Age: Art Arrival of the Modern Mind

Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3DG
United Kingdom
February 7th, 2013 - June 2nd, 2013
Opening: February 7th, 2013 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM

holborn, covent garden
Sat-Thu 10-5:30; Fri 10-8:30
portraits, sculpture
Adults £10, Members free


An exhibition 40,000 years in the making.

Discover masterpieces from the last Ice Age drawn from across Europe in this groundbreaking show. Created by artists with modern minds like our own, this is a unique opportunity to see the world's oldest known sculptures, drawings and portraits.

These exceptional pieces will be presented alongside modern works by Henry Moore, Mondrian and Matisse, illustrating the fundamental human desire to communicate and make art as a way of understanding ourselves and our place in the world.

Ice Age art was created between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago and many of the pieces are made of mammoth ivory and reindeer antler. They show skilful, practised artists experimenting with perspectives, scale, volumes, light and movement, as well as seeking knowledge through imagination, abstraction and illusion.

One of the most beautiful pieces in the exhibition is a 23,000-year-old sculpture of an abstract figure from Lespugue, France. Picasso was fascinated with this figure and it influenced his 1930s sculptural works.

Although an astonishing amount of time divides us from these Ice Age artists, such evocative pieces show that creativity and expression have remained remarkably similar across thousands of years.

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