Ana McNay reviews the exhibiton Uproar! The first 50 years of The London Group 1913-1963 at the Ben Uri Museum and Gallery, London, on view through March 2, 2014.
McNay writes that the exhibition "celebrates the first 50 years of the group –which still exists today... In 50 works by 50 artists, it moves through these 50 years, encompassing a variety of styles and movements, including the Camden Town Group roots; the controversy of the early (particularly the first world war) years; the Bloomsbury domination of the 20s; the continual strong showing of Jewish and women artists; its official war artists; some avant-garde sculptors; and the contribution of specific artistic groups, ranging from the Vorticists to the Surrealists, Abstract-Creationists and the Euston Road School. The exhibition overall is a riot of colour, content and style, displaying some of the greatest British art of the early 20th century."
Vaizey writes that the exhibition examines six students of Slade teacher Henry Tonks (1862-1937) who "presided over several generations of London-based artists who formed the bedrock of modernism, from the absorption of Impressionism to the various isms of the turn of the last century. He referred to this cohort of his students, here being celebrated, as 'a crisis of brilliance.' It is the generation who first gaily embraced the bohemian freedoms of art school and then were tempered by the horrors of World War I ... Several [artists] have only relatively recently been revalued – CRW Nevinson and David Bomberg, for example – while others have been studied, shown, admired and honoured for several generations, notably the eccentric Stanley Spencer."
Chris Stephens blogs about David Bomberg's painting The Mud Bath (1914) "which is said to have been based on Schevzik's Steam Baths in London's Whitechapel... human figures – like mechanised bodies – reduced to simple planes and sharp angles." Stephens continues noting that as part of Bomberg's one-person exhibition in 1914, The Mud Bath "hung on the outside of the Chenil Galleries, as one critic observed, 'rained upon, baked by the sun and garlanded with flags'."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.