Edward Wadsworth

View of a Town


In Tate Britain

Edward Wadsworth 1889–1949
Woodcut on paper
Image: 175 × 127 mm
Purchased 1970

Display caption

Wadsworth’s abstract view of an industrial town is made of interlocking roofs and chimney stacks. It has been identified with Bradford. The urban scene is presented as geometric and streamlined, without any trace of people. The work exists in several colour variations, including grey and black (as here), deep purple and green, and lilac and black. This is an approach Wadsworth took with many of his prints. For instance, The Open Window c.1915 (displayed nearby) was produced in six different versions with colours ranging from grey to scarlet – from austere restraint to fierce exuberance.

Gallery label, October 2020

Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? We would like to hear from you.

Catalogue entry

P07118 [from] THREE WOODCUTS circa 1915–18 [P07118-P07120]
Not inscribed.
Purchased from the d'Offay Couper Gallery (Gytha Trust) 1970.
(i) View of a Town circa 1918.
Printed in two colours.

Image 6×4⅛ (15×10.5) on paper 12½×10 (31.5×25.5).
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The titles used here and in the d'Offay Couper exhibition were taken from an unpublished thesis on Vorticism by William Lipke.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

You might like

In the shop