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Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957)

directed by Paul Edwards

We have awaited this retrospective of Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957) for fifty years. And who has set it up: neither London, nor Toronto (where he spent WW II), nor New-Scotland (where he was born). It is Juan March foundation in Madrid. The luxuriant catalogue reflects the chaotic itinerary of the founder of Vorticism. The book in a very pure typography gives this leader of the European avant-garde, the first British abstract painter, a cousin of the Italian Futurists and the Russian Rayonists the place he deserves. His constant attacks against the de Bloomsbury group and his faux pas in 1931 (he signed a book, Hitler, in which he spoke about being favorably impressed by the future Chancellor) won him prolonged ostracism, which not even his later anti-Nazism would compensate. His extraordinary creativity was consequently half forgotten. In this book it is looked at with a magnifying glass: his Abstract period, his manifesto Blast, «in violent pink», his numerous portraits, from Ezra Pound to T.S. Eliot and Edith Sitwell, his work as a typographer and an illustrator (in particular for Timon of Athens by Shakespeare), his remarkable work as an author, combining essays, novels and travel stories.

Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957), directed by Paul Edwards, published by the Juan March foundation (in English or in Spanish), 2010, 400 p., 49,60 €.

Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957) - directed by Paul Edwards

Review published in the newsletter #173 - from 6 May 2010 to 12 May 2010

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