92.1 x 122.5cm stretcher; 114.0 x 144.2 x 6.8cm frame
According to the conventional lineage of modernist art history, vorticism was the English progeny of cubism and futurism. Among its youngest adherents was the author of this robotic report of a boxing match. By the time he painted it, however, William Roberts had already passed through and abandoned the extremes of vorticist practice in favour of a less radical academic cubism. Even so, 'The interval before Round Ten' is a painting imbued with the edgy virility so loved by the vorticists, as indeed by futurists such as Marinetti. Aggression in human behaviour is given visual form in the agitated activity and angular arrangements of Roberts design. And design is the right word for this deliberately anti-naturalist composition. The ferocity Roberts brought to bear on his subjects is akin to caricature. Little fellow-feeling softens his vision of the all-male madness of pugilism, though the painter delighted in it all the same. Fernand Leger's interests in proletarian themes, and something of his tubular style, infiltrate Roberts's work.
AGNSW Handbook, 1999.
Contemporary Art Society, London (England, estab. 1910), 1963-Jul 1965, London/England, Gift of the Contemporary Art Society, London 1965. Received 1967.
Dr H. Widdup (United Kingdom), 07 Feb 1947-1963, Purchased by Dr Widdup from Christie's London, 7 February 1947, lot no. 62, bequeathed to Contemporary Art Society, London 1963
Sir Osbert Sitwell (England, b.1892, d.1969), circa 1919-Feb 1947?, Commissioned by Sitwell
Ted Gott (Australia) (Author), Laurie Benson (Australia) (Author), Sophie Matthiesson (Australia) (Author), Modern Britain 1900-1960, Melbourne, 2007, 69 (colour illus.).
Andrew Gibbon Williams (England), William Roberts: An English Cubist, Hampshire, 2004, 52, 54 (colour illus.). fig.31
Bruce James (Australia) (Author), Edmund Capon (England; Australia, b.1940) (Director), Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, Domain, 1999, 56 (colour illus.).
Peter Tomory (United Kingdom) (Author), Anne Kirker (New Zealand; Australia, b.1947) (Author), British painting 1800-1990 in Australian and New Zealand public collections, Sydney, 1997, 26 (colour illus.), 152. cat.no. 1875
Ewen McDonald (Australia) (Editor), The Art Gallery of New South Wales collections, Sydney, 1994, 160 (colour illus.).
Annabel Davie (Editor), Art Gallery of New South Wales Handbook, Domain, 1988, 55.
Renée Free (Australia) (Author), Art Gallery of New South Wales catalogue of British paintings, Sydney, 1987, 169 (illus.).
Edmund Capon (England; Australia, b.1940) (Editor), Jan Meek (Australia) (Editor), Portrait of a Gallery, Sydney, 1984, 91.
Clem Lloyd (Author), Peter Sekuless (Author), Australia's national collections, North Ryde, 1980, 256 (illus.).
Editor Unknown (Editor), Art Gallery of New South Wales picturebook, Domain, 1972, 43 (colour illus.).
'European Collection' by Renee Free p.63-75, Art and Australia [vol. 10, no. 1] Jul 1972, Jul 1972, 75 (illus.).
1967 Acquisitions 1967, 1967. cat.no. 51
Arts Council of Great Britain (England) (Author), William Roberts ARA: Retrospective Exhibition, Unknown, 1965. cat.no. 6
Recent purchases by the Contemporary Art Society, Arts Council Gallery, London, 18 Jul 1964–08 Aug 1964.
William Roberts, ARA: retrospective exhibition, Tate Britain, 20 Nov 1965–19 Dec 1965.
William Roberts, ARA: retrospective exhibition, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle- Upon-Tyne, 01 Jan 1966–22 Jan 1966.
William Roberts, ARA: retrospective exhibition, Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester, 29 Jan 1966–19 Feb 1966.
Modern Britain 1900-1960, NGV: International, 15 Nov 2007–24 Feb 2008.