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One of the most apocalyptic of Nevinson's paintings, Bursting Shell uses the strong lines and swirling movement of Futurist and Vorticist compositions to recreate the effect of an explosion. The dark shapes, which could be shards of debris or shadows, fracture what appear to be the bricks and timber of buildings and roads. The strong focal point of the vortex - with its bright light and dizzying spiral - simulates the disorientating sensory experience of an explosion.

August 2004