The outbreak of the First World War coincided with the beginnings of high modernism in literature and the visual arts to make 1914 a pivotal moment in cultural as in national history. Yeats, Wyndham Lewis, Gaudier-Breszka, Sickert, Epstein and many other avant-garde artists were at work in London during 1914, responding to urgent political as well as aesthetic problems. London was the setting for key exhibitions of high modernist paintings and sculptures, and home to a number of important movements: the Bloomsbury Group, the Whitechapel Boys and the Vorticists among them. The essays in this 2010 book collectively portray a dynamic, remarkable year in the city's art world, whose creative tensions and conflicts were rocked by the declaration of war. A bold, innovative account of the time and place that formed the genesis of modernism, this book suggests new routes through the fields of modernist art and literature.
Michael J. K. Walsh is Associate Professor of Art History at the Eastern Mediterranean University, Cyprus.
Foreword Richard Cork; Introduction Michael J. K. Walsh; 1. 'A campaign of extermination': Walter Sickert and modernism in London in 1914 Jon Shirland; 2. W. B. Yeats in 1914: a cosmopolitan modernist and the 'great menace' of Nationalism Louise Blakeney Williams; 3. Jacob Epstein's Rock Drill: man and machine Andrew Causey; 4. Conflict 'Resolution': Wyndham Lewis's Blasts at war David A. Wragg; 5. 'Something is happening there': Early British modernism, the Great War and the 'Whitechapel Boys' Sarah MacDougall; 6. Inventing literary modernism at the outbreak of the Great War Pericles Lewis; 7. 'Touching civilisation in its tender mood': nationalism and art in the friendship between Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and Edward Wadsworth, 1914-15 Jonathan Black; 8. Remembrance/reconstruction: autobiography and the men of 1914 Deborah Parsons; 9. From 'freak pictures' to no art: art exhibitions in London 1914 through the eyes of the critics Dominika Buchowska; 10. Rewriting 1914: the Slade, Tonks, and war in Pat Barker's Life Class Alan Munton; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.