The Camden Town Group in Context

ISBN 978-1-84976-385-1

Author unknown, ‘Geometric Art’

Glasgow Herald, 10 December 1912.

Geometric Art.
 The “Danse” of Mr Wyndham Lewis immediately arrests the visitor at the third exhibition of the Camden Town Group, just opened at the Carfax Gallery. By some Mr Lewis is claimed as a disciple of Picasso, but he is far more intelligible, or at any rate less unintelligible, than is the French [sic] artist in his latest phase. Surely, however, both might with advantage disregard the human figure altogether instead of professing as they seem to do to take the figure as a kind of theme on which to play bewildering variations. After some minutes of close scrutiny one discovers in Mr Lewis’s “Danse” traces of three faces, of some arms, legs, and bodies. But save in the case of the central figure, and then in negligible degree only, there are no functional lines, and even about the faces the spectator cannot be very sure. On the other hand, as a composition of kaleidoscopic cubes, of triangles, and “broken spheres,” the pleasantly coloured picture does convey a sense of movement. It is this momentum in it, and the impulsive skill with which the essay is carried through, that warrants us in regarding the “Danse” as artistic rather than geometric. Probably the intention is to suggest swirling drapery, but emphatically not drapery as “a thousand-fold echo of the human form.” Mr Walter Sickert, the “father” of the group, paints witchingly, or, rather, makes witching pictures, for his method of using the oil medium is curiously dry, often unconvincing. But what a beautiful sense of colour and of elusive form he has. This is a mastership of a kind. Among the 45 works on view are three admirably co-ordinated, spontaneous yet scholarly, decorative panels by Mr. Walter Bayes; an exercise in the ugly, “Piccadilly Circus,” with omnibuses, flower women, etc., introduced, from the hand of Mr C. Ginner; two interestingly simplified studies of girls’ heads by Mr Henry Lamb; a picture of Swedish reapers in which flame-colour is imaginatively used by Mr H. Gilman; and vigorously purposeful landscapes by Mr Lucien Pissarro and Mr Spencer Gore.

How to cite

Author unknown, ‘Geometric Art’, in Glasgow Herald, 10 December 1912, in Helena Bonett, Ysanne Holt, Jennifer Mundy (eds.), The Camden Town Group in Context, Tate Research Publication, May 2012,, accessed 28 May 2024.