The Camden Town Group in Context

ISBN 978-1-84976-385-1

Charles Marriott, ‘Here and Now’

Evening Standard and St. James’s Gazette, 6 December 1911, p.5.

 The second exhibition of the Camden Town Group, at the Carfax Gallery, is, in the best sense of the word, the Rossettian sense, amusing. Whatever else these young artists may or may not be doing, they are treating art as if it had something to do with contemporary life. They paint music halls, hansom cabs, coster girls, back gardens, and even back bedrooms.
 The honours of the exhibition go to Mr. Henry Lamb for his “Portrait” (5). Painted apparently from the same model as his picture at the New English Art Club, the head and shoulders of a girl in red has the strange dignity and beauty that come of painting what is felt rather than seen. It has a quality that may be called Wordsworthian; the quality that is got by vision and never by peeping and botanising on the one hand or sentimentalising on the other, and in workmanship it is about as good as it can be. You don’t think about the workmanship, which is a pretty good test. What Mr. Walter Sickert’s “Louie” (11), a head, and “Mother and Daughter” (12), of the coster type, will look like in twenty years’ time, one can only guess, but at present they are quite visible. You do think about workmanship here, and acknowledge that it is wonderfully good. These two pictures are the fruits of observation rather than vision, but in “Carolina dell’Acqua” (14), an interior with figures shows that Mr. Sickert can “see” as well as observe, and that he is not indifferent to the emotional power of design.
 So you go round the room finding something to interest or amuse in almost every picture; in Mr. Spencer Gore’s music-hall studies, “The Mad Pierrot Ballet” (15), and “The Promenade” (18), Mr. C. Ginner’s “The Sunlit Quay” (27), Mr. R. P. Bevan’s “The Cabyard, Night” (31), Mr. P. Wyndham Lewis’s jolly Post-impressionist figures (35–37), and Mr. Walter-Bayes’s [sic] bathing scene, reduced to essentials, “The Bridge” (50). About the whole exhibition there is an engaging atmosphere of common-sense. The fear aroused last year that the Camden Town Group would take Camden Town too seriously may now be dismissed.
 Among other exhibitions of the moment those at the Fine Art Society’s Gallery, 148, New Bond-street, and the Brook-street Gallery, 14, Brook-street, may be recommended. At the former Colonel R. Goff is showing water-colours and etchings of Venice, Tuscany, and England, Mr. Bernard Harrison oil paintings of the landscape and cities of Northern Italy, and Mr. Warwick Goble illustrations to the Pentamerone and “Green Willow.” Colonel Goff has already made a name as a firm and delicate architectural draughtsman, and Mr. Harrison is undoubtedly a painter with a future. At Brook-street Mr. Claude Haye is showing water-colour and tempera pictures of Berkshire and other counties in the broad and breezy tradition of David Cox. Then at the St. George’s Gallery, 108, New Bond-street, there is a mixed exhibition of pictures by such artists as Mr. Terrick Williams, Miss Maud Button and Mr. Maxwell Armfield, plaster reliefs by Miss Lilian Edmunds, and other attractive things.
C. M.

How to cite

Charles Marriott, ‘Here and Now’, in Evening Standard and St. James’s Gazette, 6 December 1911, p.5, in Helena Bonett, Ysanne Holt, Jennifer Mundy (eds.), The Camden Town Group in Context, Tate Research Publication, May 2012,, accessed 20 June 2024.