Vorticist Exhibition

ID: 724, Status: proof read
Exhibition period:
Jun 10, 1915
Organizing Bodies:
Doré Gallery
Catalogue Entries: 63
Types of Work: painting and drawing: 26, other medium: 9, unknown: 28
Artists: 12
Gender: female: 2, male: 10
Nationalities: 1
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Date Title City Venue Type
Date Title City Venue # of common Artists
May 1‒15, 1912 Exposition de Quelques Indépendants Anglais Paris Galerie H. Barbazanges 4 artists
Mar‒Apr 1914 The First Exhibition of Works by Members of The London Group London Goupil Gallery 6 artists
Mar 1915 The Second Exhibition of Works by Members of the London Group London Goupil Gallery 6 artists
Dec 16, 1913‒Jan 14, 1914 Exhibition of the Camden Town Group and Others Brighton Public Art Galleries 6 artists
Oct 3, 1912 Exhibition of Pictures by S. J. Peploe, J. D. Fergusson, Joseph Simpson, Anne E. Rice, Jessie Dismorr, Georges Banks, Ethel Wright, C. King, L. Atkinson, Fred. F. Foottet London Stafford Gallery 2 artists
Jan 1914 The Grafton Group. Vanessa Bell, Roger Fry, Duncan Grant. Second Exhibition London Galleries of the Alpine Club 2 artists
Dec 1911 The Second Exhibition of the Camden Town Group London Carfax Gallery 2 artists
Oct 5‒Dec 31, 1912 Second Post-Impressionist Exhibition. British, French and Russian Artists London Grafton Galleries 4 artists
May 8‒Jun 20, 1914 Twentieth Century Art. A Review of Modern Movements London Whitechapel Art Gallery 10 artists
Nov‒Dec 1915 Third Exhibition of Works by Members of the London Group London Goupil Gallery 2 artists
Oct 12, 1913‒Jan 16, 1914 Post-Impressionist and Futurist Exhibition London Doré Gallery 4 artists
spring/1915 Fifty-Third Exhibition of Modern Picture by the New English Art Club London Galleries of the Royal Society of British Artists 3 artists
winter/1913 Fiftieth Exhibition of Modern Pictures. New English Art Club London Galleries of the Royal Society of British Artists 2 artists
Organizing Committee
Drawings and Woodcuts, p. 1
List of Work by those Invited to Show, p. 2
-Duncan Grant
Preface: Note for Catalogue, p. 3-4
List of group members, p. 5
Pictures and Sculptures, p. 5-6
Vorticist Exhibition. London: Doré Galleries 1915.
Printed by: Leveridge & Co., Harlesden; NW, London.
Holding Institution: Victoria & Albert National Art Library

This is the first exhibition of a group of painters, to whom the name Vorticist has been given. Their work has been seen in various Exhibitions, the London Group, the Allied Artists and elsewhere; also "BLAST" was started principally as a vehicle for the propagation of their ideas, and as a sort of picture-gallery, too. But this is the first time in England that a Gallery has been used for the special exhibition of nothing but the works of this tendency by English artists. In addition to the Vortlcist Group several other artists similar in aim have been invited to exhibit, and the show includes specimens of the work of every notable painter working at all in one or other of the new directions.


By Vorticism we mean (a) ACTIVITY as opposed to the tasteful PASSIVITY of Picasso ; (b) SIGNIFICANCE as opposed to the dull or anecdotal character to which the Naturalist is condemned; (c) ESSENTIAL MOVEMENT and ACTIVITY (such as the energy of a mind) as opposed to the imitative cinematography, the fuss and hysterics of the Futurists.

(a) Picasso in his lastest work is rather in the same category as a dressmaker, he matches little bits of stuff he finds lying about. He puts no life into the pieces of cloth or paper he sticks side by side, but rather CONTEMPLATES THEIR BEAUTY, placing other things near them that please. His works are monuments of taste, but too much natures-mortes the whole time.
(b) The impression received on a hot afternoon on the quays of some port, made up of the smell of tar and fish, the heat of the sun, the history of the place, cannot be conveyed by any imitation of a corner of it. The influences weld themselves into an hallucination or dream (which all the highest art has always been) with a mathematic of its own. The significance of an object in nature (that is it's spiritual weight) cannot be given by stating it's avoirdupois. What a thing spiritually means to you can never be rendered in the terms of practical vision, or scientific imitation.
(c) Moods, ideas and visions have movements, associating themselves with objects or an object. An object also has an ESSENTIAL movement, and essential environment, however intimate and peculiar an object it may be - even a telephone receiver or an Alpine flower.

It is difficult to condense in a short foreword these ideas in such a way as to dispel the suspicion and puzzlement of the Public in looking at these pictures. In the second number of " BLAST," which is appearing in a week's time, there is a full and detailed exposition of them.


A point to insist on is that the latest movement in the arts is, as well as a great attempt to find the necessary formulas for our time, directed to reverting to ancient standards of taste, and by rigid propagandas, scavenging away the refuse that has accumulated for the last century or so. Artists to-day have an immense commercialized mass of painting and every form of art to sanify or destroy. There has never been such a load of sugary, cheap, anecdotal and in every way pitiable muck poured out by the ton - or, rather, such a spectacle socially has never been witnessed before. There is not a little grocer in Balham, bromedic Baroness in Bayswater, or dejected Princess who has not a gross of artists closely attending to his or her needs, aesthectically.
Let us give a direct example of how this revolution will work in popular ways. In poster advertisement by far the most important point is a telling design. Were the walls of London carpeted with abstractions rather than the present mass of work that falls between two stools, the design usually weakened to explain some point, the effect architecturally would be much better, and the Public taste could thus be educated in a popular way to appreciate the essentials of design better than picture-galleries have ever done.
As to the popular acceptance of such abstract works as are found here, definite POPULAR acceptance should never be aimed at. But it must be readily admitted that the audience of modem music, of more thoughtful plays, etc., will need some other food, in the matter of painting, than the perpetual relaxed and pretty professional work found still in almost any contemporary Exhibition.
Regarding the present war as a culmination of a friction of civilizations, Germany, had she not an array of great artists, musicians and philosophers to point to, would be much more vulnerable to the attacks that her truculent methods of warfare call forth on all hands. England as a civilizing power, cannot make herself too strong In those idealler ways in which Germany traditionally excels. We feel that in efforts and initiative we are necessary to this country. After the War, Kultur (reform-kleids, Gluckesque nymphs, and melodramatic pedantry) demolished, England must no longer neglect her organization for art and kindred things as has usually happened in the past.

Additional Information
Catalogue Structure altered
Members listed

+Gender Distribution (Pie Chart)

+Artists’ Age at Exhibition Start(Bar Chart)

+Artists’ Nationality(Pie Chart)

+Exhibiting Cities of Artists(Pie Chart)

+Catalogue Entries by Type of Work(Pie Chart)

+Catalogue Entries by Nationality(Pie Chart)

Name Date of Birth Date of Death Nationality # of Cat. Entries
William Bernard Adeney 1878 1966 GB 1
Lawrence Atkinson 1873 1931 GB 3
David Bomberg 1890 1957 GB 6
Jessica Dismorr 1885 1939 GB 4
Frederick Etchells 1886 1973 GB 4
Duncan Grant 1885 1978 GB 5
Jacob Kramer 1892 1962 GB 4
Wyndham Lewis 1882 1957 GB 4
Christopher Nevinson 1889 1946 GB 3
William Roberts 1895 1980 GB 6
Helen Saunders 1885 1963 GB 6
Edward Wadsworth 1889 1949 GB 8
Recommended Citation: "Vorticist Exhibition." In Database of Modern Exhibitions (DoME). European Paintings and Drawings 1905-1915. Last modified May 21, 2019. https://exhibitions.univie.ac.at/exhibition/724