BLAST and the Canon: Exploring Wyndham Lewis’s “A Review of Contemporary Art”

In: BLAST at 100

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“A Review of Contemporary Art” appeared in the second issue of BLAST, published in July 1915. In it, Wyndham Lewis evokes the energetic changes then taking place in painting as the traditional form of the medium and its subjects were dismantled and reconstructed in new, complex ways, made manifest in British painting through the art of Lewis and his Vorticist companions. This essay explores how Lewis conceived of, and presented to the reader, the development of modern painting. Furthermore, it seeks to consider Lewis’s text in relation to the writings of his contemporaries, and how the narrative of changes in modern painting was constructed and presented to a wider audience.