Although the East London Group achieved commercial success and huge media coverage in the late 1920s and early 1930s, its story has never been told.
Inspired by the charismatic teacher John Cooper, its artists achieved shows at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, Tate Gallery, in the provinces and annual exhibitions in the West End. By 1936, two Group painters were showing at the Venice Biennale. Arnold Bennett, Joseph Duveen, Aldous Huxley, Ramsay MacDonald, Edward Marsh, Michael Sadler, Walter Sickert and Osbert Sitwell were among its supporters.
From Bow to Biennale: Artists of the East London Group is based on correspondence and interviews with the last, now-deceased Group members plus primary and secondary archival research over many years. Extensive artist biographies are included plus chapters covering members’ involvement in film, the stage and poster work; Cooper’s mosaic revival; and his wife Phyllis Bray’s huge murals for the New People’s Palace in Mile End Road.
From Bow to Biennale is the first study of this important group of artists. Richly illustrated, the story of the East London Group is examined in detail, with biographies of the artists involved and a list of their paintings in public collections.
This revised edition includes exciting new material that has emerged since the publication of the first edition, partly due to the East London Group website (www.eastlondongroup.co.uk) and personal contacts. Fascinating sidelights on the lives of the artists involved in the group, as well as twenty-six newly discovered paintings and photographs, are included in an Afterword.
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