What was the impact of Vorticism on design?

  • Vorticism was short-lived, and went into decline as early as 1916, when Lewis began serving in the war as an artillery officer.
  • Colour Magazine (1914-1932) tried to spur a renewal in the post-war advertising business with a “poster page” that featured the work of young designers.


  • In 2011, the Telegraph commented that:

‘The problem with Vorticism is that so little survives, says art critic Richard Cork, who was instrumental in the movement’s rediscovery in the early Seventies. Artists such as Wyndham Lewis, Edward Wadsworth and William Roberts went off to fight in the First World War, and when they got back their paintings had disappeared, been lost or destroyed.’

  ‘This institution’s house magazine, Blast, had a profound impact on radical culture. Lewis was out to undermine the whole edifice of Victorian values that underpinned the deceptive stability of pre-First World War Britain – “Blast the years 1837 to 1900! Blast the abysmal, inexcusable middle class!” – in futuristic, heavy-type layouts that have influenced everything from concrete poetry to punk fanzines.

It was in its nature to burn out quickly since, as Rylands says, “the dissipation of its energy was intrinsic to its incendiary character”.

 In terms of hard product, Vorticism was two copies of a magazine that few people read and an exhibition that almost nobody went to. Yet it was also, as Rylands puts it, “Britain’s contribution to one of the most exciting moments in art”.

  • Someone (YvesLaPointe) commented on this article to say ‘Vorticism failed to develop, yes in part because (of) the War, but also because some Vorticists were attracted to fascism or fascist ideas…Some of the art might be worth looking at, but when you realise where Vorticism and its practitioners were heading, it becomes a shadow in history, of minor interest artistically, deeply offensive politically and morally.’
  • There was an exhibition at the tate modern in 2011 which celebrated the full electrifying force and vitality of this short-lived but pivotal modernist movement.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s