This Is Tomorrow  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

"This Is Tomorrow" was a seminal art exhibition which opened on August 8 1956 at the Whitechapel Art Gallery. The core of the exhibition was the Independent Group. It was conceived by architectural critic Theo Crosby who had attended a congress in Paris in 1954 on the drawing together of fine and applied arts. The exhibition included artists, architects, musicians and graphic designers working together in 12 teams, an example of multi-disciplinary collaboration that was still unusual. Each group took as their starting point the human senses and the theme of habitation. The exhibitions most remembered exhibit was the room by Richard Hamilton, John Voelcker and John McHale, with collaboration from Magda and Frank Cordell. It included the Op Art Dazzle panels, collage Space modules, and Pop Art readymades of a Marilyn Monroe poster, a film advertising billboard of the Forbidden Planet, Robby the Robot and a Jukebox, the endless reel of film depicting the Royal Navy Fleet at sea, and the design of the Pop art collage poster were all provided by John McHale. The catalogue also featured essays by Reyner Banham and Lawrence Alloway. Colin St John Wilson designed the exhibition guide; Edward Wright designed the catalogue for This Is Tomorrow, and it was printed by Lund Humphries.

The TIT show is now considered a watershed in post-war British art and kick started the development of Pop Art.

Parts of This Is Tomorrow were recreated in 1990 for an exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Artist Teams in Exhibition

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