NEW YORK, NY.- Rhythms of Modern Life: British Prints 1914-1939, the first major exhibition in the United States to examine the impact of modern artistic movements especially Italian Futurism on British printmaking from the outbreak of World War I to the beginning of World War II, will be on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art beginning September 23, 2008. Featuring the work of 14 artists, Rhythms of Modern Life will showcase more than 100 prime examples of graphic works that celebrate the vitality and dynamism of modern life.
Rhythms of Modern Life highlights a period of enormous social, economic, and political change in Europe that was reflected in the arts by the advent of abstraction combined with a fascination with mechanized speed. The exhibition will be organized thematically into eight categories: Vorticism and Abstraction (the short-lived, radically modern British art movement of the early 20th century); World War Iand its influence on British printmakers, who created bold, gripping works; and examinations of Speed and Movement, Urban Life/Urban Dynamism, Sport, Industry and Labor, Entertainment and Leisure, and Natural Forces. The exhibition will feature an unprecedented number of works by artists associated with the Grosvenor School of Modern Art, recognized for their richly colored, geometric images. In the 1920s and `30s, members of the Grosvenor School embraced the linocut technique, which will be illustrated in a special display and represented by four original linocut blocks for Sybil Andrews' print Speedway (1934), as well as instruction manuals and linocut tools.
In addition to the color linocuts, a variety of printmaking techniques will be on view in the exhibition, including woodcuts, drypoints, and lithographs. Highlights of the exhibition will include C. R. W. Nevinson's Returning to the Trenches (1916), Claude Flight's Brookland (1929), Sybil Andrews' Bringing in the Boat (1933), and Cyril E. Power's Whence and Whither? (ca. 1930), The Eight (ca. 1930) and The Tube Train (ca. 1934).
More than 70 of the works in Rhythms of Modern Life: British Prints 1914-1939 will be drawn from the Johanna and Leslie Garfield Collection, and other prints included in the exhibition are from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the British Museum, the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, the Yale Center for British Art, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Twelve of the works from the Johanna and Leslie Garfield Collection are partial, promised gifts to the Metropolitan Museum.