Monday, January 25, 2016

Artist of the Week: Edward Wadsworth

Edward Wadsworth was a major figure in British art of the first half of the twentieth century. Edward Wadsworth was a painter of marines, marine still-life, landscapes and abstracts in tempera paints. He was also a draughtsman, muralist and wood engraver. A number of his mural decorations were for the ocean liner "Queen Mary". Edward Wadsworth is most famous for his close association with Vorticism and copying the styles of Pablo Picasso.

Edward Wadsworth was raised in a northern industrial environment that was to appear with great forcefulness in his Vorticist work. Like many other Vorticists, Wadsworth's interest in the machine showed itself at an early age. Under the impact of the Post-Impressionists, he turned for a while to portraiture, beach scenes and still-life's.

Edward Wadsworth's painting " The Beached Margin" (shown above) displays nautical objects assembled in bold relief against a marine background of of sea and sand. Using the difficult medium of egg tempera, which Edward Wadsworth mixed himself he is able to show amazing detail. The painting comes close to Surrealism in it's style and clarity. These imaginative geometric creations offer up an intellectual pleasure beyond that of a simple still life painting.

Edward Wadsworth exhibited first with the NEAC in 1911, becoming a member in 1921, and the Friday Club from 1912-1913. In 1913 Wadsworth's work appeared in the second Post-Impressionist Exhibition and he joined the Omega Workshops. When Wyndham Lewis broke from the Omega, Wadsworth followed him and subsequently showed in the Post-Impressionist and Futurist exhibition, Dore Galleries.

In June of 1914, Edward Wadsworth was in a group of artists, including Lewis, who jeered Marinetti's public performance of "The Battle Of Adrianople". Edward Wadsworth was a signatory of the Vorticist Manifesto published in BLAST the next month, and also supplied a review of Wassily Kandinsky's "Concerning The Spiritual In Art" and images to be reproduced in the magazine.

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