Wyndham Lewis

Planners: Happy Day


Not on display

Wyndham Lewis 1882–1957
Ink, gouache and graphite on paper
Support: 311 × 381 mm
frame: 527 × 583 × 23 mm
Purchased 1956

Display caption

Between 1911 and 1913 Lewis experimented with Cubism. However, when he later recalled the process by which he made this work, he used language similar to that used by the artist Wassily Kandinsky. He wrote 'The way those things were done...is that a mental-emotive impulse is let loose upon a lot of blocks and lines of various dimensions, and encouraged to push them around and to arrange them as it will.' Kandinsky exhibited in London during the years 1909-13. His abstract style must have appealed to avant-garde artists such as Lewis.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

T00106 PLANNERS (HAPPY DAY) c. 1912–13
Inscr. ‘Wyndham Lewis’ t.r.
Pen, pencil and gouache, 12 1/4×15 (31×38).
Purchased from the Mayor Gallery (Cleve Fund) 1956.
Coll: Purchased from the artist by John Quinn, New York; sold American Art Association, New York, 10 February 1927 (188A), bought by Richard Wyndham; Mayor Gallery.
Exh: Redfern Gallery, May 1949 (17, repr.); Tate Gallery, July–August 1956 (34).
Lit: Handley-Read, 1951, pp.35, 52–3, 85, repr. pl.4; Letters, 1963, p.504.
Repr: John Rothenstein, The Tate Gallery, 1962, p.254.

Both titles, ‘Planners’ and ‘Happy Day’, are inscribed on the backing, as is the date, ‘c. 1913’. In a letter of 2 September 1949 to Charles Handley-Read the artist attributes the title ‘Planners’ to Rex de C. Nan Kivell.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I

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