Rhythms of Modern Life

Overview

It is little known that interbellum Britain hosted a generation of Modernist artists who absorbed the wealth of Continental avant-garde idioms and adapted them to their own unique ends. Some of this work was done under the rubric of Vorticism, the Neofuturist movement spearheaded by Wyndham Lewis, while other artists were closely associated with London's Grosvenor School of Art (and so came to be known collectively as the Grosvenor School), breaking new ground in the practice of linocut. Rhythms of Modern Life ...
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Overview

It is little known that interbellum Britain hosted a generation of Modernist artists who absorbed the wealth of Continental avant-garde idioms and adapted them to their own unique ends. Some of this work was done under the rubric of Vorticism, the Neofuturist movement spearheaded by Wyndham Lewis, while other artists were closely associated with London's Grosvenor School of Art (and so came to be known collectively as the Grosvenor School), breaking new ground in the practice of linocut. Rhythms of Modern Life examines the impact of Cubism and Futurism on British printmaking in the years between the First and Second World Wars, focusing in particular on the dynamic imagery of 13 artists, including C.R.W. Nevinson, Paul Nash, Edward Wadsworth and David Bomberg, all early followers of Italian Futurism and British Vorticism, and on the works of Grosvenor School artists Claude Flight, Sybil Andrews, Cyril Power and Lill Tschudi. All of these artists coined styles that addressed the velocity of modern life, espousing industry, speed and an optimism for the century ahead. This book, the first survey of its kind, features more than 100 lithographs, etchings, woodcuts and linocuts, ranging from geometric abstractions to forceful impressions of the first fully mechanized war, Jazz Age images of sporting events, speed trials and other contemporary diversions. Clifford S. Ackley's introduction takes stock of the art historical moment and is followed by discussions of the prints, an overview of the history and technique of the modern linocut and short biographies of the artists.
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Editorial Reviews

Steven Heller
This catalog…provides a valuable look at a movement that Ackley says constituted "a unique and vibrant moment in British modernism." It involved the artists' "personal transformations" of Futurism and Cubism into a singular language that influenced graphic and poster design with its "thrusting, vertiginous or syncopated rhythms of the modern world." And whether it represented a desolate no man's land or an urban landscape, this art for a new, jazzy age was a radical departure from the stylistic stranglehold of Victorianism.
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780878467242
  • Publisher: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • Publication date: 1/10/2008
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas E. Rassieur is assistant curator of prints and drawings at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

Clifford S. Ackley is Ruth and Carl Shapiro Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. His books include PhotoImage: Printmaking 60s to 90s, Printmaking in the Age of Rembrandt and Nolde: Watercolors in America.

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Table of Contents

Director's Foreword 7

Acknowledgments 8

Collecting Modernist Prints: The Garfields Stephen Coppel Coppel, Stephen 11

Rhythms of Modern Life Clifford S. Ackley Ackley, Clifford S. 15

Catalogue

Vorticism and Abstraction 33

World War I 57

Speed and Movement 77

Urban Life/Urban Dynamism 91

Sport 115

Industry and Labor 131

Entertainment and Leisure 147

Natural Forces 163

Linocut: History and Technique

The History and Characteristics of Linoleum Block Prints Stephanie M. Lussier Lussier, Stephanie M. 177

Materials and Techniques of the Grosvenor School Artists Rachel Mustalish Mustalish, Rachel 189

Artist Biographies 205

Checklist and Credits 211

Selected Bibliography 222

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