An English Cubist
written by Andrew Gibbon-Williams
Lund Humphries Publishers | ISBN 9780853318248
Hardback – 152 pages
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William Roberts was the longest surviving member of the pre-First World War avant-garde group of artists known as Vorticists. When he died in 1980, he was unjustly thought of as an artist whose dynamic heyday as a leading light of the Vorticist movement had beggared his subsequent career. William Roberts: An English Cubist looks for the first time at the whole range of Roberts' work and asserts his true status as a major contributor to the art of the twentieth century. William Roberts is unique in as much as he was the only English artist of his generation who remained true to Cubism. Moreover, he was the only one who continued to re-invigorate the method by applying it to a vast array of metropolitan subject-matter. In this he is one of the very few British artists whose contribution to modernism ranks alongside those of the Continental hierarchy epitomised by Leger and Braque.
Roberts' range was immense. As an official War Artist for the Canadian War Memorials Fund he produced some of the most memorable large-scale images of the First World War. Adept at portraiture from an early age, he painted some of the best-known personalities of his time - T.E. Lawrence, Maynard Keynes - and a lifelong series of studies of his wife and son. Most spectacular of all are Roberts' pictures of urban - and specifically of London - life. William Roberts: An English Cubist offers a fuller understanding of the development of a major British artist, widely illustrated with reproductions of his work.
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