An unnamed art critic writing for the British magazine SPECTATOR gave his back-hand to Wyndham Lewis, the father of Vorticism. Prefering the artist's drawings to his paintings, the ink-stained wretch opined:
"The point might also be raised whether Mr. Wyndham Lewis should ever use oil paint. It is a medium which he seems to have little capacity and no sympathy..."
Prior to the establishment of the New York School in the 1940s, there has always been a popular belief among Europeans (and a few Americans) that the art produced in the U.S. was purely derivative and lacked true originality in conception and style. In the attached article from the early Twenties, some of these Europeans and Americans step forward and identify themselves while continuing to crack wise on the topic; however, the editors of ART NEWS will not suffer this abuse and they return fire offering plenty of evidence to the contrary.
This is a VANITY FAIR art review that was reverently torn from the brittle, yellowing pages of a 1915 issue of VANITY FAIR covering the first Paul Cezanne (1839 - 1906) exhibit on American shores.
This article will give you a good look at how the seeds were sewn as early as 1915 to ensure the rise of New York City as one of the great art centers of the world. For the first time since the 1913 Armory Show, New York was again to host an important exhibition of the European modernists. Much of the article concerns Henri Matisse (1869 - 1954) and is illustrated with a portrait of the artist by the photographer Edward Steichen.
Things were changing - not long after New York was proclaimed as the commercial capital of the art world, America was recognized as the preeminent world power, click here to read about it...
The British writer Aldous Huxley (1894 - 1963) had much praise for the artist Augustus John (1878 - 1961) and his skill as a portrait painter:
"With his few fellows he stands apart, reminding us in the most salutary fashion that it is the gift of God, not the correct education, that produces genuine art..."
A war-time interview with the Welsh painter Augustus John (1878 - 1961).