This video shows Barbara Bartl (Museum Officer: collections & Premises) speaking about 'The Grosvenor School of Modern Art'. The Exhibition is currently on display at Newport Museum and Art Gallery. It opened on 30th January and we strongly recommend a visit.
Note that there are also lunch time tours on the following dates:
- 24 February 2016, 13:00
- 17 March 2016, 13:00
- 14 April 2016, 13:00
All works in this exhibition are by artists associated with the Grosvenor School. They form a part of a larger group of prints collected by Newport Museum and Art Gallery in the 1950s.
The Grosvenor School of Modern Art was founded in 1925 by Scottish artist Iain Macnab. He set up the school in his house at 33 Warwick Square, London. It soon occupied a leading role in the promotion of modern print-making techniques. The Grosvenor School artists are known for their bold and dynamic linocuts, which was then a novel technique taught by one of the lecturers Claude Flight. The Grosvenor School of Modern Art became a leading force in the production and promotion of modern printmaking works while teaching a foundation in art history. Some of the important names associated with the Grosvenor School are Claude Flight who lectured on the art of lino cutting and Cyril Power who specialised in architecture. Sybil Andrews was the School Secretary, but became an artist of note.
Iain MacNab was educated in Edinburgh and Glasgow. He was an excellent draughtsman and his talents included wood engraving, linocut, lithography and painting. His first exhibited woodcuts date from 1927 and he produced many works in this medium over a 34 year period.
Claude Flight only turned to art in his early thirties, after being an engineer, librarian, farmer and beekeeper. He reflected the rush and hurry of modern life in his art and his students’ art also reflected this sense of movement in their designs and produced clear colourful works of art. He began teaching linocut classes in 1926 and soon a free-thinking group of British and International printmakers joined him. Their designs reflected the speed and movement of the modern world which surrounded them.
Cyril Power began
his career as an architect and during the First World War he was commissioned
into the Royal Flying Corps. In the 1920’s, he left his wife and family, and
moved to London with Sybil Andrews to become an artist. He studied at the
Grosvenor School and later returned there to teach. Power loved London and he portrayed the life of modern
London that he saw around him. He shared a studio with Sybil Andrews until 1938.
Sybil Andrews was born in Bury St Edmunds, and began work as a welder and worked at an airplane factory during the First World War. She moved to London with Cyril Power and began producing lino cut art prints. She was the first secretary of The Grosvenor School of Modern Art. During the Second World War she worked in a shipyard where she met her husband, and in 1947 they emigrated to Vancouver Island, Canada. She continued producing art but after a period when she became largely forgotten her art came to public notice again in the 1970s. She died in 1992 leaving many linocuts to be discovered.
Lill Tschudi was born in Switzerland and was a only a student at The Grosvenor School from 1929-30. She maintained a close working relationship with her tutor Claude Flight and he supported her career and acting as her contact when she was abroad. She focused on sporting themes but after 1945 her art became more abstract. Tschudi returned to Schwanden, Switzerland in 1935, but she continued to produce linocuts which she sent work to London where they received high critical acclaim.
How Newport Art Galley obtained the prints
The prints in the exhibition at Newport Museum and Art Gallery came from the Redfern Gallery in London which was founded in 1923 as an artists’ co-operative. In 1929 the Redfern held the first exhibition of British colour linocuts of the Grosvenor School and continued to represent Cyril Power and Sybil Andrews during both of their lifetimes. In 1950s Newport Museum and Art Gallery bought a group of prints from the gallery relating to the Grosvenor School of Modern Art. They are part of a larger collection of modern works collected in the 1950s. They obtained them at a time when the prints were becoming less popular. Art dealer, Michael Parkin did much to bring them back to public attention. The Guardian Newspaper, published Michael Parkin's obituary on 18th August 2014 and stated,
'Almost single-handedly he (Parkin) rediscovered the work of the Grosvenor School of linocut artists from the 1930s, led by Claude Flight, which was unseen for 40 years and now enjoys widespread critical and commercial acclaim.'
The exhibition contains works by:
Graham Sutherland, Iain Macnab, Ronald Greirson, William Greengrass, Anna Findlay, Margaret Bernard, Eileen Mayo, Enid Martin, Cyril Power and Sybil Andrews.This print by Cyril Power is entitled 'The Eight' and depicts a group of rowers. A print of this 1930s linocut can be viewed as part of the exhibition.
Sybil Andrews: 'Giant Cable' 1951