Lewis, Wyndham (1882-1957) / Southampton City Art Gallery, Hampshire, UK / Bridgeman Images

In Storage

Percy Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957)

The Vorticist

Lewis was an abrasive figure who delighted in controversy. After being expelled from the Slade School of Art in 1901 he travelled in Europe, widening his knowledge of art, literature and philosophy. He settled in London in 1908 and exhibited with the Camden Town Group, although his modernist style offended the critics and some group members.

Lewis was impressed by the radical ideas of Italian Futurism but not its emphasis on machines and speed. As a result he formed his own avant-garde art movement Vorticism, which drew on Cubist fragmentation to express the energy of the modern industrial and urban world. The screaming figure of The Vorticist reflects Lewis's interest in the impact on humanity of this brave new world.

Medium watercolour on paper
Date 1912
Dimensions 414mm x 294mm
Acquisition Number SOTAG : 1429
Credit Line Purchased in 1953 through the Frederick William Smith Bequest Fund