Vorticism was a short lived British art movement of the early 20th century. It is considered to be the only significant British movement of the early 20th century but lasted less than three yearsWest, Shearer (general editor), "The Bullfinch Guide to Art History", page 883, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, United Kingdom, 1996. ISBN 0-8212-2137-X] .


The Vorticism group began with the Rebel Art Centre which Wyndham Lewis and others established after disagreeing with Omega Workshops founder Roger Fry, and has roots in the Bloomsbury Group, Cubism, and Futurism.

Though the style grew out of Cubism, it is more closely related to Futurism in its embrace of dynamism, the machine age and all things modern (cf. Cubo-Futurism). However, Vorticism diverged from Futurism in the way that it tried to capture movement in an image. In a Vorticist painting modern life is shown as an array of bold lines and harsh colours drawing the viewer's eye into the centre of the canvas.

The name Vorticism was given to the movement by Ezra Pound in 1913, although Lewis, usually seen as the central figure in the movement, had been producing paintings in the same style for a year or so previously [ [http://www.20thcenturylondon.org.uk/server.php?show=conObject.4983 Program and menu from The Cave of the Golden Calf, Cabaret and Theatre Club, Heddon Street] ] .


Other than Lewis, the main figures associated with the movement were William Roberts, Edward Wadsworth, David Bomberg, Frederick Etchells, Cuthbert Hamilton, Lawrence Atkinson, CRW Nevinson, and the sculptors Jacob Epstein and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. There were two female artists, Jessica Dismorr, and Helen Saunders associated who were described at the time as Vorticists, though it has been argued that due to the sexism of the art world at the time, these artists have not had their critical due.


The Vorticists published the literary magazine "BLAST", which Lewis edited. It contained work by Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot as well as by the Vorticists themselves. Its typographical adventurousness was cited by El Lissitzky as one of the major forerunners of the revolution in graphic design in the 1920s and 1930s.

Demise and legacy

The Vorticists held only one exhibition, in 1915 at the Doré Gallery. After which the movement broke up largely due to the onset of World War I and public apathy towards the work. Gaudier-Brzeska was killed in military service while leading figures such as Epstein distanced themselves stylistically from Lewis. Attempts to revive the movement in the 1920s under the name Group X were unsuccessful.

While Lewis is generally seen as the central figure in the movement, it has been suggested that this was more due to his contacts and ability as a self-publicist and polemicist than the quality of his works.Fact|date=February 2007 A 1956 exhibition at the Tate Gallery was called "Wyndham Lewis and the Vorticists", highlighting his prominent place in the movement. This angered other members of the group. Bomberg and Roberts both protested strongly the assertion of Lewis, which was printed in the exhibition catalogue: "Vorticism, in fact, was what I, personally, did, and said, at a certain period."


*Pound, Ezra. 1914. Vorticism. "Fortnightly Review" 96, no. 573:461-471.

External links

* [http://www.tate.org.uk/servlet/ViewWork?workid=8709 "Workshop"] , a Vorticist painting circa 1914-5 by Wyndham Lewis
* [http://www.vorticism.co.uk www.vorticism.co.uk] , information about Vorticism
* [http://www.fullposter.com/snippets.php?snippet=133 Ezra Pound: "Vorticism"]
* [http://www.npg.org.uk/wyndhamlewis/index.html www.npg.org.uk/wyndhamlewis] , Wyndham Lewis exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London. 3 July - 19 October 2008
* [http://www.minusspace.com/chronology1910-1919.htm Chronology of related art movements in the 1910s] List discusses Vorticism

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  • vorticism — vorticísm s. n. Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa: Dicţionar ortografic  VORTICÍSM s.n. s.n. Mişcare artistică de avangardă în Anglia, promovată de Wyndham Lewis între 1912 şi 1915, care îşi propunea organizarea formelor într un sistem de… …   Dicționar Român

  • vorticism — [vôrt′ə siz΄əm] n. [often V ] a movement in English art at the beginning of WWI, involving Wyndham Lewis, Jacob Epstein, and others, and influenced by cubism and futurism vorticist [vôrt′əsist] n., adj …   English World dictionary

  • Vorticism —    A short lived modernist English art movement founded in 1914 by painter Wyndam Lewis (English, 1882 1957), along with poet Ezra Pound (American, 1885 1972), who devised the group s name. To him the vortex represented the point of maximum… …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • vorticism — noun Usage: often capitalized Etymology: Latin vortic , vortex Date: 1914 an English abstract art movement from about 1912 15 embracing cubist and futurist concepts • vorticist noun or adjective, often capitalized …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • vorticism — vorticist, n., adj. /vawr teuh siz euhm/, n. (sometimes cap.) a short lived avant garde British art movement that was nurtured by Wyndham Lewis, derived from futurism and cubism, and reached its climax in an exhibition in London in 1915,… …   Universalium

  • Vorticism — [ vɔ:tɪsɪsm] noun a British artistic movement of 1914–15 influenced by cubism and futurism. Derivatives Vorticist noun & adjective Origin from L. vortex, vortic eddy + ist …   English new terms dictionary

  • vorticism — vor·ti·cism …   English syllables

  • vorticism — /ˈvɔtəsɪzəm/ (say vawtuhsizuhm) noun (sometimes upper case) an English modern art movement initiated in 1914 and inspired by cubism and futurism. {Latin vortic , stem of vortex + ism; coined by Ezra Pound, 1885–1972} –vorticist, noun …   Australian-English dictionary

  • vorticism — ˈvȯ(r)d.əˌsizəm noun ( s) Etymology: Latin vortic , vortex + English ism : an offshoot of futurism flourishing in England in the second decade of the 20th century and designed to relate all art forms directly to the machine and modern industrial …   Useful english dictionary

  • BLAST (magazine) — BLAST was the short lived literary magazine of the Vorticist movement in Britain. It had two editions, the first published on 2 July 1914 [It was dated 20th June 1914, but the publication was delayed] [Blasting The Future! Black, Philip Wilson… …   Wikipedia

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