Celebrating the Centenary of The London Group
4 November 2013 §
Not necessarily particularly fashionable at the moment, the early 20th century artists movement The London Group
is celebrating a hundred years since its foundation. However, most people will be surprised to find that this is not simply a historical movement but a thriving institution that is still happily organising exhibitions and events.
Surviving through 100 years of immense change in the art world it is one of the few remaining exhibiting societies from the early twentieth century to sustain its original principles and structure. This is what they state:
As a member, you know that you are within a body of artists who are interested in, and prioritise, others aesthetic qualities – regardless of your own personal direction. This is the strength of the group, to make space for another, because we all have chosen to elect and be elected by, to exhibit together as a whole regardless of the different factions that compose the group.
For an artist to become part of the London Group will be to value a plurality of viewpoints and to join in its illustrious history. A history that is historic in outlook, as it is always part of the present, part of now. The group does not have hierarchies or notions of linear progression, but is rooted within the democratic principles of care and equality and is prepared to collaborate with any other organisation.
With only around a hundred members it remains an artists only group, entirely self-financed and self-managed it maintains a principled independence from art world interests. New members are elected annually by submission of current work with criteria for membership being “the quality of a maker’s emerging vision and commitment to the Group’s activities.” I guess that means unsociable artists not welcome!
By way of celebration there are a series of events including an excellent exhibition that provides a wonderful overview. Uproar – The First 50 Years of The London Group
showing at the Ben Uri Gallery
. The exhibition looks from its Camden Town Group
roots and the controversy of the early years to the impact of war and the influence of Bloomsbury and also reveals the contribution of Jewish and women artists and specific artists’ groups ranging from the Vorticists to the Surrealists and the Euston Road School
A partner exhibition ‘+100 The London Group Today‘, with responses from The London Group’s current members to ‘Uproar!’ is meanwhile being shown at The Cello Factory, Waterloo, London from 16 November to 13 December.
Uproar – The First 50 Years of The London Group
Until 2 March 2014