JOHN ARMSTRONG ARA (1893-1973) Biography
SURREALISM (founded c.1924) Biography

Invocation (England, 1938)

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Tempera on board
Signed with monogram and dated 1938


71.00cm high
54.60cm wide
(27.95 inches high)
(21.50 inches wide)
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Alex Reid and Lefevre, London 1938

Exhibition History

London, Alex Reid & Lefevre, Paintings by John Armstrong, December 1938, number 18
London, Barbican Art Gallery, 21st May - 19th July 1987, A Paradise Lost, catalogue number 5
Milan, Palazzo Reale, I Surrealisti 15th May - 17th September 1989

Description / Expertise

Invocation is one of a series of paintings, which John Armstrong begun in the 1930's as a direct statement against the rise of Fascism in Europe. John Armstrong observed Fascism in Italy at first hand and became an active left wing campaigner against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. He was commissioned as an official war artist, designing a cover for a leaflet in the 1945 election campaign and contributed occasional articles and poetry to left wing journals. In his painting Victory, he imagined the result of a nuclear holocaust, which attracted the attention at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1958.