Vorticists in Venice / by Marco Secchi

VENICE, ITALY - JANUARY 28:  The Director of the Guggenheim Museum Philip Rylands admires the reconstruction by Ken Cook and Ann Cristopher after the dismantled original of the installation by Jacob Epstein "Rock Drill" at the press launch of the Vorticist exhibition on January 28, 2011 in Venice, Italy. The Vorticists: Rebel Artists in London and New York, 1914-1918, is the first exhibition devoted to Vorticism to be presented in Italy will be open at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection from  January 29 through May 15, 2011. (Marco Secchi) A slave is one who waits for someone to come and free him. (Ezra Pound)

The Vorticism group began with the Rebel Art Centre which Wyndham Lewis and others established after disagreeing with Omega Workshops founder Roger Fry, and has roots in the Bloomsbury Group, Cubism, and Futurism. Lewis himself saw Vorticism as an independent alternative to Cubism, Futurism and Expressionism.

Though the style grew out of Cubism, it is more closely related to Futurism in its embrace of dynamism, the machine age and all things modern (cf. Cubo-Futurism). However, Vorticism diverged from Futurism in the way it tried to capture movement in an image. In a Vorticist painting modern life is shown as an array of bold lines and harsh colours drawing the viewer's eye into the centre of the canvas.

The name Vorticism was given to the movement by Ezra Pound in 1913, although Lewis, usually seen as the central figure in the movement, had been producing paintings in the same style for a year or so previously.

Pictures from today opening of the Venice Exhibition

600