CLAUDE FLIGHT (1881-1955)
GROSVENOR SCHOOL (1925-c.1940)
Park (England, 1922)
Watercolour and chalk on paper
Signed and dated '22 lower left
(18.03 inches high)
(23.94 inches wide)
Description / Expertise
Flight’s true direction in art began when he saw the Futurist Exhibition at the Sackville Gallery, London in 1912. Influenced by this and the Cubist movement, he became concerned with notions of speed and movement, with simplification of forms, with a dynamic linear rhythm. His subject matter, as typified here by Rush Hour and Park was the life of the city, popular forms of entertainment, cars and buses, people and things in motion.
Flight’s concern was to portray the life of his own time:
'The art of today must be in relation to the life of today... Since Cezanne and Van Gogh the tide of taste has returned towards simplicity and unity of conception, towards an ordered arrangement of form and colour representing an artist's analysis of some aesthetic emotion he has experienced.'
He became a member of the 7 and 5 Group with Percy Jowett, Paul Nash, Christopher Wood, Francis Hodgkins, and John Piper under Ben Nicholson’s influence. When the group turned their focus towards abstraction, Flight left them in order to pursue his interest in the linocut. He worked in this new medium with Edith Lawrence until his death in 1955, and other notable students of his included Cyril Power and Sybil Andrews. Many works by the group were bought by the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and exhibited widely abroad. In Painters of England (Medici Society, 1934) S.C.Kaines wrote “Flight is the only true Futurist that this country has produced”.