CRW Nevinson: A Printmaker in War and Peace

  • LONDON, United Kingdom
  • /
  • May 19, 2014

  • Email
Returning to the Trenches by CRW Nevinson (1889-1946).
Osborne Samuel
Brooklyn Bridge by RW Nevinson (1889-1946).
Osborne Samuel

To coincide with the centenary of the outbreak of World War One, London's Osborne Samuel gallery has announced a major exhibition of prints by CRW Nevinson (1889-1946). This will be the most comprehensive exhibition of Nevinson’s prints since the Leicester Galleries
exhibition in 1977, Kettle’s Yard’s Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings and Prints and the Imperial War Museum’s exhibition of CRW Nevinson – The Twentieth Century in 1999/2000.

The exhibition will also coincide with the launch of a new book titled CRW Nevinson – The Complete Prints - the first comprehensive survey of Nevinson’s printmaking career - compiled and written by Dr Jonathan Black, and co-published by Lund Humphries Publishing, London and Osborne Samuel gallery.

Nevinson was a noted British war artist, whose predilection for representing the mechanical nature of war set him apart from many of his wartime contemporaries. Having opted to join the Friend’s Ambulance Unit as a dedicated pacifist in 1914, Nevinson subsequently served with the Royal Army Medical Corps but was invalided out of the army in January 1916 suffering from rheumatic fever. This was not however the end of his war. An exhibition of  his paintings later that year in September brought him to the attention of the chief war
propagandist Charles Masterman of the War Propaganda Bureau. Masterman successfully petitioned Nevinson to travel to the Western Front painting in an official capacity for the British government. In spite of his known radicalism Nevinson eagerly accepted, and it is to
Masterman's credit that Nevinson's work largely escaped censorship, although much of it would have appeared uncomfortable in official quarters. For Nevinson's work was stark in drawing the public's attention to the increasingly mechanised nature of modern warfare, far
removed from the romantic artistry that often accompanied the early stages of the war, which generally depicted man fighting man (often in hand to hand combat).
!
Nevinson made 148 prints; etchings, drypoints, mezzotints and lithographs between 1916 and 1933. There is no doubt that his war experience greatly influenced his subject matter and he produced some of the most poignant images of war in printmaking history. These include the iconic Returning to the Trenches, 1916, Troops Resting, 1916, That Cursed Wood, 1918 and the set of six lithographs commissioned by the Ministry of Information titled Britain’s Efforts and Ideals: Building Aircraft that are all included in this exhibition.
!
In May 1919 Nevinson visited New York City for his exhibition at the Keppel Gallery which was a critical and commercial success; the city was also a dizzying stimulus and resulted in a number of New York subjects in painting, later translated into various prints in all media
rivalling work produced by any of his New Yorker contemporaries.
!
Equally stimulating were his prints in London, The Workers, 1919 shows a strike demonstration; London Bridges, c. 1920, London from Parliament Hill, c.1923, Waterloo Bridge from a Savoy Window, c.1924-26, Westminster from a Savoy Window, c.1924, Leicester Square, c.1926-27 and many more included in this exhibition. He was a devoted Francophile and a frequent visitor to Paris and included in the show are (From) A Paris Window, 1922, La Butte Montmartre, 1922, La Cité, Paris, c. 1926 among others.
!
The exhibition will be a selling show supplemented by additional works for private collection and will include a selection of his prints from all periods.
!
!
!
Osborne Samuel, 23a Bruton Street, London, W1J 6QG,
+44 (0)20 7493 7939 - info@osbornesamuel.com - www.osbornesamuel.com

Tags: european art

  • Email

ARTFIXdaily Artwire