To commemorate the centenary of World War I Bonhams are to host an exhibition of works by war artist C.R.W. Nevinson to accompany the April Prints sale
In honour of the centenary of World War I this year and following an overwhelming response to last year's Grosvenor School sale pre-view, Bonhams will host a dedicated exhibition of works by war artist Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson to accompany its April Prints sale.
The exhibition will run from the 11th-23rd of April.
In 1917 the British Ministry of Information commissioned artists to take part in a series named 'The Great War: Britain's Efforts and Ideals'. C.R.W. Nevinson was among the nine artists chosen to each produce a series of six lithographs on the 'Efforts' theme. Each lithograph was made in an edition of 200.
As part of this commission, Nevinson created the 'Building Aircraft' series. The set of six lithographs described the industrial process of building aircraft, from manufacture to assembly and, finally, to flight.
A complete set of six, rarely seen together, are included in the Bonhams exhibition.
Assembling Parts (1917) captures the energy and spirit of young men building aeroplanes. The busy scene is filled with criss-crossing lines of the skeleton plane, stretching in all directions out of the tightly cropped viewing space. In Acetylene Welder (1917), the repeated lines of identical workers and the strong diagonals of the factory machinery accentuate a rigorously organised industrial modern warfare.
Banking at 4,000 Feet (1917) and In the Air (1917) show magnificent birds-eye views of the French countryside from aboard the soaring machines.
Other notable works in the exhibition are two sobering front line depictions; Twilight, a 1916 black and white drypoint of a struggling soldier carrying his wounded friend and Reliefs at Dawn (1918) a haunting lithograph depicting laden soldiers arriving in the trenches.
C. R. W. Nevinson
C. R. W. Nevinson was one of the most famous war artists during World War I. In his own way, the artist followed in the footsteps of his father, Henry Nevinson, a journalist and war correspondent. His mother, Margaret Nevinson was a writer and women's suffrage campaigner.
Nevinson was born and educated in London and went on to study art at the prestigious Slade School of Art - University College London's art school. At the Slade, Nevinson was a contemporary of artists Paul Nash and Stanley Spencer who also found themselves as war artists recording the horrors of the war that had fallen around them.
After leaving university Nevinson became close with Marinetti, leader of the Italian Futurists, and the influence in his work is clear to see.
At the outbreak of war in 1914 Nevinson joined the Friends Ambulance Unit tending to wounded French soldiers on the Western Front. Ill health returned him to Britain where he created a powerful series of Futurist paintings capturing the horrors and chaos of war in ordered angular form. Nevinson's linear depictions simplify the world into neat, ordered geometric patterns.
The Grosvenor School of Modern Art
The Grosvenor School of Modern Art was founded in 1925 at 33 Warwick Square in Pimlico, London by British artists and printmakers: Iain MacNab, Claude Flight and Cyril Edward Power. It offered students a solid study of art history, with each artist lecturing on their own specialist area. The school became world renowned for its teaching on, and production of, modernist printmaking and attracted students from across the globe.
On 24th September 2014 Bonhams is to hold 'The First World War Centenary Sale', a dedicated commemorative auction at its Knightsbridge salerooms.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com