The Hampstead Modernists

Kathryn Hughes at The Guardian:

In 1937 the art critic Myfanwy Evans published The Painter’s Object, an anthology of new essays by leading artists of the day including Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Nash. While Evans’s aim was to present a snapshot of contemporary practice, it’s clear from her introduction that she wasn’t holding out for consensus. In fact, she suggested, the art world was currently in the middle of a series of all-encompassing “battles” between “Hampstead, Bloomsbury, surrealist, abstract, social realist, Spain, Germany, heaven, hell, paradise, chaos, light, dark, round, square”. Evans’s breathless list was meant to be playful, but she was making a serious point. Within the broad church of modernism, you could find the cool abstract grids of Piet Mondrian, the increasingly politically engaged style of Picasso or, more recently, the curve ball of surrealism, as represented by Salvador Dalí and his lobster telephone.

more here.