Edward Wadsworth

The Open Window


Not on display

Edward Wadsworth 1889–1949
Woodcut on paper
Image: 184 × 133 mm
Purchased 1970

Display caption

Most of Wadsworth’s surviving Vorticist works are woodcuts, which he continued to make throughout the war. He was already interested in the effects of colour, and produced six different versions of this woodcut, in colours ranging from grey to scarlet.

The American poet and writer Ezra Pound owned some of Wadsworth’s woodcuts and compared their compositions to the abstract language of music. In fact musical references appear in Wadsworth’s work through out his career (see for example Dux et Comes I 1932, also in this display).

Gallery label, July 2008

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Catalogue entry

P07120 [from] THREE WOODCUTS circa 1915–18 [P07118-P07120]
Not inscribed.
Purchased from the d'Offay Couper Gallery (Gytha Trust) 1970.

(iii) The Open Window circa 1915.

Printed in three colours.

Image 6¼×4¼ (16×10.5) on paper 9⅞×6⅜ (25×16).
Coll: The artist's daughter, Mrs von Bethmann Hollweg, London; d'Offay Couper Gallery, London.

Exh: Abstract Art in England 1913–1915, d'Offay Couper Gallery, November–December 1969 (37–39, repr.).
Repr: (iii) is also reproduced in Studio International, CLXXVIII, 1969, p. 221.

The titles used here and in the d'Offay Couper exhibition were taken from an unpublished thesis on Vorticism by William Lipke. The two most abstract works (ii) and (iii) are dated c. 1915 because of some resemblance to Wadsworth's works reproduced in Blast, No. 2, published in July 1915; the other, more spatial design seems to reflect his experiences during the latter part of the war as a camouflage artist.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1968-70, London 1970

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