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Current time:0:00Total duration:4:29

Biddy Peppin on the female Vorticists

Video transcript

My name's Bridget Pepin and I'm an art historian and painter and painter, and also first cousin twice removed of the Vorticist painter Helen Sanders Vorticisim was an English art movement launched, unfortunately, in the summer of 1914, which is perhaps not the best moment to launch an art movement What the vorticists were trying to do was to go beyond cubism and futurism and create a new art that was completely responsive to the modern world of cities and machines This is one of Helen's fantasies completely abstract works It is entirely constructed of angles and straight lines. You have the repetition of shapes to a very great extent. You have triangles here, you have overlapping trapezoid shapes here So this is something that very is very typical of vorticist work and I think makes it very different from either cusbist or futurist work Some vorticist works are completely abstract, others have hints of perhaps buildings or perhaps figures This is one of only two paintings by Jessica Dismore that has survived from the vorticist period. It's very different from works by some of the other members of the group. It seems to represent space. You have these quasi architectural forms floating around in an almost sort of gravity-less Environment so a very beautiful and very distinctive Vorticist work, which makes it all the more tragic That only one other vorticist work by still survives It is thought that her executor may have destroyed some vorticist works after her death in 1939 Because he thought that it can't they cast doubts on her sanity Of course you know there was a general perception that women were Somehow less able to be artists for men other art movements like cubism and futurism excluded women but there were two women vorticists who were sort of fully paid-up members of the movement Dance, I think is the most exciting of all It obviously shows one of the very new dances that were sweeping in from America Using the jazz rhythms that were being developed in the United States You can see these dancers breaking all the accepted rules of dance And they're responding to the excitement of the syncopation of the Jazz This drawing vorticist composition is by Helen Sanders and dates from around about 1914 or 1915 There's quite a lot of possible interpretations of this work But I think perhaps the figures below are the vorticists and perhaps of some kind of pendulum and perhaps. They're going to dislodge the sleeping figures of the establishment above This painting which is hanging outside the vorticist exhibition was painted by William Roberts one of the vorticists in 1961 to 62 so it's not really a vorticist work It was painted to demonstrate that there was a group of vorticists The painting shows the two women vorticists, Jessica Dismorr and Helen Sanders Who are arriving in time for dessert but not guests at the main meal.