The content on this page is aggregated and is not affiliated with the artist.
Born on his parents' yacht, off Amherst, Nova Scotia, 18 Nov. 1882; died London, 7 Mar. 1957. British painter, novelist, and critic, the son of a British mother and a wealthy American father. He came to England as a child, studied at the Slade School, 1898-1901, then lived on the Continent for 7 years, mostly in Paris. In 1909 he returned to England and in the years leading up to World War I emerged as one of the chief figures in British avant-garde art.
From 1911 he developed an angular, machine-like, semi-abstract style that had affinities with both Cubism and Futurism. He worked for a short time with Roger Fry at the Omega Workshops, but after quarrelling with him in 1914 he formed the Rebel Art Centre, from which grew Vorticism, a movement of which he was the chief figure and whose journal Blast he edited. He served with the Royal Artillery, 1915-17, and as an Official War Artist, 1917-18, carrying his Vorticist style into works such as A Battery Shelled (1918). In 1919 he founded Group X as an attempt to revive Vorticism, but this failed, and from the late 1920s he devoted himself mainly to writing, in which he often made savage attacks on his contemporaries (particularly the Bloomsbury Group). His association with the British Fascist Party and his praise of Hitler alienated him from the literary world. The best-known paintings of his later years are his incisive portraits, more naturalistic than his earlier works but still with a bold, hard simplification of form; the rejection of that of T.S. Eliot caused Augustus John to resign in disgust from the Royal Academy in 1938.
Lewis was the most original and idiosyncratic of the major British artists working in the first decades of the 20th century, and he was among the first artists in Europe to produce completely abstract paintings and drawings. He built his personal style on features taken from Cubism and Futurism but did not accept either....