To coincide with the centenary of the outbreak of World War One, Osborne Samuel gallery will hold a comprehensive exhibition of CRW Nevinson’s prints alongside the launch of a new book titled CRW Nevinson: The Complete Prints, which is to bethe first complete survey of Nevinson’s printmaking career.
Nevinson was a noted British war artist, whose predilection for representing the mechanical nature of war set him apart from many of his contemporaries. Having joined the Friend’s Ambulance Unit as a dedicated pacifist in 1914, Nevinson subsequently served with the Royal Army Medical Corps but was invalided out of the army in January 1916. This was not however the end of his war, as an exhibition of his paintings later that year brought him to the attention of the chief war propagandist Charles Masterman of the War Propaganda Bureau.
Nevinson was then employed to travel to the Western Front painting in an official capacity for the British government. In spite of his radicalism, Nevinson accepted, and it is to
Masterman’s credit that Nevinson’s work largely escaped censorship – despite its stark and direct portrayal of the increasingly mechanised nature of modern warfare, far removed from the romantic artistry that often depicted hand-combat in the early stages of the war.
Between 1926 and 1933, Nevinson made 148 prints; etchings, drypoints, mezzotints and lithographs, and some of the most poignant images of war in printmaking history.
CRW Nevinson: A Printmaker in War & Peace Osborne Samuel, 23a Bruton Street, London, W1J 6QG 25 September – 18 October 2014 www.osbornesamuel.com
1. CRW Nevinson, a Dawn, (1914) Courtesy of Osborne Samuel
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