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The Linocuts of Ethel Spowers: A Vision Apart1

The Linocuts of Ethel Spowers: A Vision Apart1 This essay discusses the colour linocuts of the Melbourne-born artist and illustrator Ethel Spowers. Although Spowers was a key figure in modern art and design in Australia during the 1920s and 1930s, to date her linocuts have received little critical attention and are appraised only briefly and collectively as part and parcel of the Grosvenor School of Modern Art in London, where she studied for several months under the guidance of Iain Macnab and Claude Flight. This essay argues that her modernism provides an important contrast and supplement to accounts of modern everyday life offered by her British and European colleagues at the School, and canonical British and Anglo-American modernism more generally. Rejecting a view of modern life defined in terms of homogenisation, social alienation and adult experience, I discuss how Spowers's rhythmic compositions express choreographies of community and positive affect, and focus on the experience of children. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modernist Cultures Edinburgh University Press

The Linocuts of Ethel Spowers: A Vision Apart1

Modernist Cultures , Volume 15 (3): 23 – Aug 1, 2020

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2041-1022
eISSN
1753-8629
DOI
10.3366/mod.2020.0301
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This essay discusses the colour linocuts of the Melbourne-born artist and illustrator Ethel Spowers. Although Spowers was a key figure in modern art and design in Australia during the 1920s and 1930s, to date her linocuts have received little critical attention and are appraised only briefly and collectively as part and parcel of the Grosvenor School of Modern Art in London, where she studied for several months under the guidance of Iain Macnab and Claude Flight. This essay argues that her modernism provides an important contrast and supplement to accounts of modern everyday life offered by her British and European colleagues at the School, and canonical British and Anglo-American modernism more generally. Rejecting a view of modern life defined in terms of homogenisation, social alienation and adult experience, I discuss how Spowers's rhythmic compositions express choreographies of community and positive affect, and focus on the experience of children.

Journal

Modernist CulturesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Aug 1, 2020

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