Nash and Nevinson: Impressions of War and Peace
Osborne Samuel Gallery has always specialised in British avant-garde prints, representing the Edward Wadsworth Estate and dealing in the prints of Nash, CRW Nevinson and William Roberts. In 2014 we commemorated the centenary of the beginning of The Great War with the largest group of Nevinson prints ever exhibited, displaying 108 of the 150 prints he made. Now in 2020 we are pleased to present an exhibition of rare prints by Paul Nash and CRW Nevinson from The Great War and its aftermath. Exposed to the horrors of the first mechanized war, both men were official war artists and were profoundly affected by their experiences. The prints they created are rightly considered amongst the greatest British art of the 20th century. This exhibition includes some of their most famous works.
Nash’s ‘Men Marching at Night’ (cover) is one of the rarest of his seven war lithographs executed in 1918; others in this exhibition include ‘Rain, Lake Zillebeke’, ‘Void of War’, ‘Void’, ‘German Double Pillbox’ and ‘Mine Crater, Hill (60)’. The post-war works include lithographs from the 1920s depicting the area around Dymchurch on the Kent coast and wood-engravings he made for various private presses.
Nevinson was a more prolific printmaker, creating a total of around 150 prints between 1916 and 1933. Prints by CRW Nevinson in this exhibition include his Futurist masterpiece ‘Returning to the Trenches’. Other rare works include, ‘Swooping Down on a Taube’, ‘Acetylene Welder’ and ‘Banking at 4000 Feet’, made in 1917 for the set ‘Making Aircraft’ published by the Department of Information. Other war subjects include ‘The Road from Arras to Bapaume’, ‘After a Push’, ‘Over the Lines’, ‘Ypres after the Second Bombardment’, ‘Reclaimed Country’ and ‘Nerves of an Army’. Also made during 1917, perhaps as a respite to the war, is his extraordinary lithographic masterpiece ‘The Blue Wave’. Post-war works include his prints of London, New York and Paris including the large etching of ‘Blackfriars’, 1926-7, ‘New York, An Abstraction’, 1921 and ‘From a
Paris Window’, 1922.
This fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition with notes on many of the prints. My thanks go to Amy Tibble of Osborne Samuel Gallery who has written a most insightful essay with catalogues notes on some of the individual prints. A virtual version of the catalogue will also be available online with additional prints not included in the hardcopy version.
Gordon Samuel, April 2020