Sunday, 22 September 2013

A Crisis of Brilliance 1908-1922

Last Sunday, for my birthday outing, we visited Dulwich Pictury Gallery to see the exhibition A Crisis of Brilliance 1908-1922. Sadly it finishes today so there's no time for a second visit.

This exhibition traces the work of Paul Nash, C.R.W. Nevinson, Stanley Spencer, Mark Gertler, Dora Carrington and David Bomberg who were students together at the Slade School of Fine Art under the tuition of Professor Tonks. Henry Tonks studied medicine and became a surgeon before becoming an artist. Judging by the exhibition notes Professor Tonks was a task master who ran his studio like a military camp. So life for his students was no a 'walk in the park'.

However their work flourished as they were exposed to Futurism, Cubism and Vorticism and they became some of the most well-known and distinctive British artists of the twentieth century. The exhibition culminates with a selection of their drawings and paintings depicting the horrors of WWI.

I was particulary attracted to a landscape by Paul Nash using graphite and ink wash which has inspired me to try something similar. I think this simple sketch of mine evokes a similar mood.

Bittern Lookout