Cyril Power was a leading member of the Grosvenor School of Modern Art in London in the 1920s and 1930s. Inspired in turn by the Futurists, Cubists and Vorticists the Grosvenor School forged a new contribution to British modernism which brandished the latest technological art material – the linocut. Power co-authored a cultural manifesto which argued for a radical art to match the brutal conditions of industrial post war society.
“True it is an ugly age; judged by the beauty of past periods, but our factories and industrial building have a majesty all their own, a titanic, savage, satanic strength, that calls for simplicity and sternness of treatment and cannot be properly represented by prettiness and picturesqueness of handling”
Power sited two important elements:
‘RHYTHM: the pulsating arrangement of lines, spaces, masses, colors, emphasis etc…which carries the design along and makes it live’
and DESIGN: the arrangement of the components…coordinated into a coherent unity.
Power made several prints of the London Tube and the vigourous activity of sport, but there was also room for pleasure in his vision of an industrial society on full tilt ; as the funfair prints show.
I’m currently looking at artists who have been interested in recording movement and looking at the different subjects they have used. Although most of my work will be figurative i intend to contrast this with studies of the city in motion – the crowds, traffic, machines, pigeons etc… Like Cyril i also plan to visit a funfair – Chessington World of adventure – to watch some animals freeze. But the rides should provide some interesting video footage.