Rhythms of Modern Life
British Prints 1914-1939 Exhibition Catalogue HC

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About This Item

Text by Clifford S. Ackley, Stephen Coppel, Thomas E. Rassieur, Samantha Rippner

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 neo-Futurist 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.

Clifford S. Ackley, the Ruth and Carl Shapiro Curator of Prints and Drawings, is chair of the Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In addition to his exhibitions and publications on and around Rembrandt, one of Ackley’s major areas of interest is modern and contemporary works on paper. His previous publications include Rembrandt’s Journey: Painter, Draftsman, Etcher and PhotoImage: Printmaking 60s to 90s.

Steven Coppel is Curator of the Modern Collection in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum.

Stephanie Lussier is the Claire W. and Richard P. Morse Fellow in the Virginia H. Deknatel Paper Conservation Laboratory at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Rachel Mustalish is Associate Conservator in the Sherman and Fairchild Center for Conservation of Works on Paper at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Thomas E. Rassieur is Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings in the Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Samantha Rippner is Assistant Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Hardcover.
8.5 x 9.5 in.
224 pages.
120 color / 20 black and white illustrations.