Modern Painters: The Camden Town Group
Tate Britain: Exhibition
13 February 5 May 2008
Charles Ginner, 'Piccadilly Circus' 1912

Charles Ginner
Piccadilly Circus 1912
Oil paint on canvas
support: 813 x 660 mm frame: 939 x 786 x 65 mm
Purchased 1980© The estate of Charles Ginner

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Welcome to London in the 1910s – a bustling modern metropolis, home to the motor car, the music hall, and a group of innovative young painters. They were the Camden Town Group, who introduced Post-Impressionism to Britain, inspired by the work of  van Gogh and Gauguin on the continent.

Modern Painters focuses on the key themes in their work: life in the city, people, style, sex, and the infamous Camden Town murder. Fascinated by the changing ways of life in the capital, the Group captured the mood of this transitional period in British history, around the time of World War I. Images of London buses, audiences enjoying light entertainment and gritty urban interiors evoke the atmosphere of a city and a country moving into the modern era, whilst nudes painted in dingy North London homes explore the changing sexual attitudes described in the contemporary writing of H.G. Wells, D.H. Lawrence, and Rebecca West.

The exhibition concentrates on the core of the Group – Spencer Gore, Harold Gilman, Robert Bevan, Charles Ginner – with Walter Sickert as a key player. Works have come from numerous different collections in this first exhibition of the Camden Town Group for over twenty years.