1 from a private collection
2 16 June to 1 July 2010 The Fine Art Society Dealers since New Bond Street London w1s 2jt +44 (0)
3 The Fine Art Society London 2010 from a private collection
4 preface The avant-garde in Britain in the period between the First and Second World Wars was a small band, a group of artists most of whom knew one another. They were supported by an equally small number of buyers and sympathisers, amongst whom Jim Ede was a principal figure. In the early 1920s he met Ben and Winifred Nicholson while he was working at the Tate Gallery and he soon devoted himself to collecting Modern British art while becoming friends with most of the artists themselves. The home he created for his art in Cambridge, Kettle s Yard, is a lasting memorial to his passion. Our exhibition is based on the works which Jim Ede kept after he gave Kettle s Yard and its contents to the University of Cambridge and moved to Edinburgh. It includes works by Ben Nicholson, Winifred Nicholson, Alfred Wallis, Christopher Wood and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. Other works by these artists have been added, Cornish subjects, flower paintings and a Brittany landscape. These artists were at the heart of the Modern British movement, Ben Nicholson the central figure who went on to achieve an international reputation, Winifred Nicholson the instinctive colourist, Alfred Wallis the retired fisherman turned painter, Christopher Wood and Gaudier-Brzeska, two brilliant talents cut short by suicide and the Great War. Their works epitomize a period when artists found inspiration in the primitive and sought to move away from the brilliant draughtsmanship and technical mastery which had characterized painting in Britain at the turn of the 20th century. British art in the 1920s and 1930s is often seen as an unconnected sideshow to the main event which was played out in Paris. In fact Christopher Wood was a friend of Picasso, Cocteau and Diaghilev, equally at home in Paris, London or St Ives and Ben Nicholson moved in the same circles and went on, after Kit Wood had died, to achieve worldwide fame. And yet their art is essentially English in character and for all its sophistication and simplicity, its painterliness, it intersected with the naïve paintings of an untrained amateur working 300 miles and a world away from the studios of Hampstead and Chelsea. Winifred Nicholson detail from Flowers [cat.11]
5 Jim Ede a unique vision Jim Ede, Edinburgh c.1988 At the age of fourteen, Jim Ede was staying at a friend s house, when the friend s parents went out shopping. Ede promptly hauled the grand piano from one end of the room to the other, feeling that it would look better in its new position. The parents returned and were forced to concede that their young visitor had re-arranged things to their advantage; and so there the piano remained. The story illustrates Ede s obsession with visual balance, and also his obsessive, uncompromising, single-minded character. It was a mindset that endeared him to any number of artists: Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, David Jones and Constantin Brancusi, and which made its clearest statement at Kettle s Yard, the house he created in Cambridge in the late 1950s and early 1960s, which stands as an enduring testament to his unique vision. Born in Penarth, near Cardiff in 1895, Harold Stanley Ede (he became known as Jim when he was in his twenties), studied painting at the Newlyn School of Art and briefly at Edinburgh College of Art before being called up; on demobilization in 1919 he enrolled at the Slade School of Art in London. It is not clear where his love of art came from; he recalled that a school trip to Paris had sparked an interest in early Italian art (he wrote a book on Florentine Quattrocento drawings in 1926), and it was always the simpler, more primitive, forms of art that appealed to him. His parents had no interest in art and Jim complained about their dreadful décor. He left the Slade in 1921 to become a photographer s assistant at the National Gallery, and the following year he moved to the Tate Gallery where he became the Director s assistant. Around 1923 he met the artists Ben and Winifred Nicholson, whose love of plain forms and clean colours a sort of Minimalism avant la letter had a profound impact upon his own aesthetic. At that moment he gave up painting and devoted himself to the art of his contemporaries. Through the Nicholsons, friendships developed with artists such as Christopher Wood, David Jones, Henry Moore and Alfred Wallis, the amateur artist Ben Nicholson and Wood had discovered in St Ives in 1928; the story goes that they were walking past his house and spotted his paintings through an open door. Wallis was already an old man when Nicholson met him, having retired from fishing and dealing in scrap. Following his wife s death in 1922, he had taken to painting the things he knew: boats, ships and seascapes, using boat paint and odd, misshapen bits of board and card. The naïve draughtsmanship and inconsistencies in scale were matched by an innate ability to make the scenes come alive. It is no surprise that
6 Nicholson and Wood were impressed and it is often argued that Wallis direct, untutored approach had an effect on their faux-naïve work of the late 1920s and on British Modernism in general. Nicholson showed Wallis s work to Ede when he returned to London; Ede became hooked and proved a loyal patron, commissioning parcels of pictures from the St Ives artist whom, surprisingly, he never met, though the two were in constant correspondence. Ede s position at the Tate was a fairly lowly one, and he never exercised the kind of power that would convince the Director to buy the work of his friends. He did, however, hang paintings by the Nicholsons and Wallis in his own office at the Tate, bringing them into the national collection through the back door, literally. In 1921 Ede had married Helen Schlapp, whom he had met at Edinburgh College of Art just before the War; they had two daughters. They moved into a large Queen Anne house at 1 Elm Row, Hampstead. The house embodied the plain, uncluttered look that Ede so cherished; from this point on, the walls in all his houses would be painted white. Jim and Helen made the house into a lively meeting-place for artists, actors, musicians and dancers: Ben and Winifred Nicholson, David Jones, the pianist Vera Moore (seen in Winifred Nicholson s portrait: cat.00; she was the mother of Brancusi s son), Lawrence Olivier, John Gielgud and Peggy Ashcroft were among the regular visitors. Margaret Gardiner, the collector and creator of the Pier Arts Centre in Orkney, lived in a self-contained flat on the top floor. Ede had a particular gift for friendship often at the expense of his family. He had a vast army of friends with whom he corresponded ceaselessly: he wrote his correspondence on the Tube on the way to the Tate, while standing up if necessary. His open, friendly manner lived side-by-side with an uncompromising perfectionism which brooked no opposition and could be difficult to live with; it was Helen who managed to balance these two sides of his character and make things work. The house at Elm Row also provided the setting for Ede s magnificent collection of work by the French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. Gaudier-Brzeska had died in the trenches, aged just twenty-three, and his work had passed to his partner Sophie, who died in an asylum in no.relatives emerged on either side, so the cache of sculptures, paintings and more than 1600 drawings went to the UK Treasury, which in turn consigned it to the boardroom table at the Tate Gallery. The Tate and the Contemporary Art Society eventually picked out a few works but the rest aroused little interest. So in 1927 Ede managed to buy what remained, including correspondence, notebooks and the diaries kept by Sophie. Three years later, Ede turned the material into a biography of Gaudier-Brzeska, Savage Messiah. Although Ede had unmatched connections with avant-garde artists in Britain and France (Picasso, Braque, Miró, Brancusi ), such credentials were squandered at the Tate. By 1936 Ede s relationship with the Tate s Director, J.M. Manson (famous for the remark Over my dead body will Henry Moore ever enter the Tate ), had deteriorated to such an extent that it was affecting his health, and Ede decided to leave. He had spent holidays in Tangier with friends from Edinburgh and in 1936 he and Helen took the dramatic step to move there. They had a white Modernist house built, to Jim s designs. There were trips to America to lecture on art, but for someone who might have taken the Directorship at the Tate, these were lost years. By the early 1950s the Edes were looking to move. A letter from Vera Moore mentioned an old farmhouse near Blois in the Loire valley which was for sale, and on the strength of this, and sight unseen, the Edes bought the property, Les Charlottières, in Painted white inside, it provided the ideal setting for some of Ede s collection. This was a prelude to Kettle s Yard. Les Charlottières was a big property, the Edes were advancing in age, and family and friends in Britain proved a strong magnet. So in 1956 the Edes moved back to England, renting in Cambridge, where Jim had been at school and where he had trained as an officer during the First World War. He already had an idea in mind: to find a sympathetic building which would take his collection and which he could donate en bloc. The project required the presence of young people (hence the choice of Cambridge), for Ede had enormous faith in the redemptive power of art and the positive force it could exert in shaping lives. Soon the ideal solution presented itself; the Cambridge Preservation Society drew his attention to a row of four dilapidated old cottages that were for sale in Kettle s Yard, so-called after the Kettle family, who had occupied land on that site for hundreds of years. The process of gutting and renovating the cottages took more than a year; then, having painted the walls white, Ede moved in at the end of 1957 and set about installing his collection. He placed the works with immense care, giving each object its own particular space. Simple, practical country furniture became an integral part of the whole look, as did bowls, vases, shells and pebbles. Light, spacious, spartan and comfortingly quirky, it made modern art integral to a lived-in space although Helen complained that she could not put her knitting down without Jim criticising her for spoiling the visual balance. The house expressed an effect of charmed innocence backed by unbending steel reflecting Ede s own character. Now in his sixties, Ede held open house in the afternoons, greeting visitors personally and inviting them to stay for tea and toast. Part gallery, part home, part haven, part work of art, the house soon became a place of pilgrimage for visitors from all over the world. In 1966 Ede gave Kettle s Yard and its contents, including work by Brancusi, Miró and Gaudier-Brzeska, to the University of Cambridge. He kept a few works, and others had already been given to friends and family: it is these works that form the backbone of the present exhibition. Ede lived at Kettle s Yard for several more years. Yet once it did not belong to him there were, inevitably, points of conflict with the new curators and Trustees, whose job it was to run the place. In 1973 Jim and Helen Ede moved to Edinburgh, Helen s home city; she died in Although he was then in his eighties, in Edinburgh Ede transformed his small Morningside flat into a miniature Kettle s Yard. Perhaps to counter the likelihood of major change at Kettle s Yard, at the age of ninety he published a beautiful book on the house, A Way of Life, in which every corner of the house was carefully documented and explained. This was done partly so that future generations would know exactly what his vision had been and partly so that future Trustees and curators at Kettle s Yard would know exactly where each vase and pebble should go and would not dare move them. So it was that Jim Ede managed, following his death in 1990, to control his space from beyond the grave. Patrick Elliott
7 1 Christopher Wood Young Girl 1928 Oil on canvas 281/2 x 191/2 inches 70 x 50 cm Provenance: H.S. Ede Exhibited: London, New Burlington Galleries, Christopher Wood: Exhibition of Complete Works, 1938 (324) literature: Eric Newton, Christopher Wood , London p.73, no.337 Christopher Wood first visited Bankshead, the Cumbrian home of his friends Ben and Winifred Nicholson in spring Wood s friendship with the Nicholsons is at the heart of English painting between the wars and the weeks that they spent together at Bankshead in April and then at St Ives later in the summer had a powerful effect on all three of their careers. The Nicholsons presented Wood with an idealised image of English creative life the truth of their relationship was of course more complex, but what Wood saw was a matched and mutually supportive partnership that seemed in sharp contrast to his own lonely isolation. He longed for something similar for himself, but despite his search for this sort of happiness Wood had neither the character nor lifestyle to make such a relationship stick and he was always drawn back to a life of opium-fuelled bisexuality in Bohemian Paris. His friendship with the Nicholsons though was one of the few certainties of his short life.
8 2 Christopher Wood Estuary in Cornwall c Christopher Wood Spring Flowers in a White Jar c.1928 Pencil on paper 41/4 x 7 inches 11 x 18 cm Provenance: P.K. Collymore, bought Redfern 1954; and by descent Exhibited: London, Redfern Gallery, 1954 (100) Oil on gessoed board 13¼ x 16 inches 53.5 x 40.5 cm Provenance: Mr & Mrs H. Dalziel Smith; Mr & Mrs Peto, purchased from the Redfern Gallery 1947 Exhibited: London, New Burlington Galleries, Christopher Wood, Exhibition of Complete Works, 1938 (221); London, Redfern Gallery, Christopher Wood, 1947 (62); Redfern Gallery, Christopher Wood, 1959 (74); Plymouth City Art Gallery, French Impressionists and English Painting and Sculpture from the Peto Collection, (102) Literature: Eric. Newton, Christopher Wood , London, 1938, no.430
9 4 Christopher Wood Dahlias and Larkspur 1930 Oil on gesso prepared board 15½ x 13 inches 40 x 33 cm PROVENANCE: Captain Ernest Duveen, May 1947 bought from Redfern Gallery; Ernest Duveen, his sale; Sotheby s London, 6 July 1960 (31); Steven Harrison; London, Sotheby s, 13 May 1988, (112); private collection EXHIBITED: London, New Burlington Galleries, Christopher Wood, Exhibition of Complete Works, 1938 (192) LITERATURE: Eric Newton, Christopher Wood, London, 1938, no.382, p.74; Richard Ingleby, Christopher Wood An English Painter, London, 1995, p.xii, pl.12 Christopher Wood painted a number of small still lives in the course of his tragically short career, usually favouring an informal arrangement of flowers dropped haphazardly into a little jug. Of the 447 paintings listed by Eric Newton in his study, some 50 or so fall into this category, but only a few have the combination of freshness and intensity that so distinguishes Dahlias and Larkspur. It is a late work, painted after Wood s visit to Bankshead in the spring of 1928, in what has come to be seen as Wood s mature style. Artistically as well as emotionally Wood and the Nicholsons found much to share in 1928, both in their choice of subject and in their methods. It was Wood who came up with the technique, so clear in Dahlias and Larkspur, of coating the canvas or board with a thick layer of coverine or rippolin, a white house paint that dried fast and gave a rich and varied texture, as well as an implied sense of history. This emphasis on the character of the picture surface underscored a sense of the painting as an object and led to Ben building up and scoring back the surface in such a way that prefigures the first white reliefs of the early 1930s.
10 5 Christopher Wood Street in Treboul 1930 Oil on panel 21¾ x 26½ inches 55.8 x 66.8 cm Provenance: Fosca Munster; Mayor Gallery, London, in 1961; Hill Samuel and Co.; Sale Sotheby s November 1999; Lloyds TSB; Crane Kalman; Private Collection Exhibited: London, New Burlington Galleries, Christopher Wood, Exhibition of Complete Works, 1938 ( 118); Colchester, Arts Council, The Minories, Christopher Wood, March April 1979 (50), a touring exhibition to Durham, D.L.I Museum and Arts Centre, April May 1979 ; Aberdeen Art Gallery, June July 1979 ; Eastbourne, Towner Art Gallery, 1979 ; Exeter, Royal Albert Memorial Museum; London, Christie s, The New Patrons: Twentieth Century Art from Corporate Collections, January, 1992 (164); St Ives, Tate Gallery, Christopher Wood, 1996 (24); this exhibition travelled to Quimper, Musée des Beaux Arts, May August 1997 Literature: Eric Newton, Christopher Wood , London, 1938, no.412; Eric Newton, Christopher Wood , London, 1959, p.11, illus.; Richard Ingleby, Christopher Wood, An English painter, London, 1995, p.247 8, pl.44; Virginia Button, Christopher Wood, London, 2003, pp.60 61, illus. Christopher Wood went to the seaside town of Tréboul, Brittany in June 1930 and stayed at the Hotel Ty-Mad, behind the house where he had stayed the previous summer. His lover Frosca Munster, the first owner of this painting, later joined him there, but she was forced to return to Paris by the death of her mother. In the next six weeks Wood made forty paintings. In a letter to Ben and Winifred Nicholson he said he was working a lot at night and that postcards helped him to remember a scene. Street at Tréboul relates to such a postcard, illustrated by Richard Ingleby (plate 46), and he describes its part in the creative process as follows. The artist has used a postcard image as a shortcut to his normal technique and copied the monochrome image directly on to the canvas, simplifying a little, taking out a figure here, adding another there, and introducing careful patches of colour to bring the picture alive. The results are very pleasing, but whereas most of Wood s near contemporaries use the camera to lend the illusion of spontaneity to their snap-shot compositions, Wood s results end up by looking more controlled than his usual paintings.
11 6 Ben Nicholson Still Life Bottle and Goblets c.1924 Oil on canvas 211/2 x 291/2 inches 54 x 75 cm Provenance: H.S. Ede; private collection Exhibited: London, Beaux Arts Gallery 1927 (possibly); Leeds, Temple Newsam House 1944 (possibly) as Two Goblets and a bottle (3); Cambridge, Kettle s Yard Gallery, Ben Nicholson: the years of experiment (11), toured by the Arts Council of Great Britain to Bradford, Cartwright Hall, Canterbury, Royal Museum, Plymouth, City Museum and Art Gallery Literature: Jeremy Lewison, Ben Nicholson: the years of experiment Cambridge 1983 p.57 no.11 It is uncertain whether it was this painting or another still life belonging to H.S. Ede which was exhibited at Temple Newsam House in 1944, according to Jeremy Lewison. In a letter to John Summerson of 25 April 1944 Nicholson wrote: I remember at some point in the Lugano period, when ptg still life s (sic) that I said I wanted to paint simply a cup & saucer (i.e. a white cup & saucer) also about then I did a series of goblets this kind of thing (Ede has one of these goblets side by side) & I remember saying to Laura Riding that I painted a goblet because it was the object with the simplest form and that after many years work one could perhaps take the next step a mug the addition of a handle being a big event, & the next step after that being a jug with the addition of a spout!
12 7 Ben Nicholson Halsetown 1948 Drypoint, signed and dated in pencil Ben Nicholson 1948, lower right, printed in black ink on wove paper: edition of 7 5 x 7 inches 12.5 x 17.5 cm sheet 9½ x 125/8 inches 24.1 x 32.3 cm Reference: Cristea 22
13 8 Ben Nicholson I.C.I. Shed 1948 Drypoint, signed and dated in pencil Ben Nicholson 1948, lower left, printed in black ink on laid paper: numbered 9 from the edition of 10 77/8 x 97/8 inches 20 x 25 cm sheet 10 x 11½ inches 25.3 x 29.6 cm Provenance: Frank Rentsch Exhibited: London, Alan Cristea Gallery Ben Nicholson Prints , 2007 (15) Reference: Frances Carey and Antony Griffiths, Avant- Garde British Printmaking , London 1990 p.206 no.192; Reference: Cristea 23
14 9 Ben Nicholson Bird s Eye 1967 Etching, touched with light blue paint, signed in pencil Nicholson and inscribed (St Ives), lower right: a proof worked on by the artist aside from the edition of 50 93/8 x 11½ inches 23.7 x 29.4 cm sheet 147/8 x 12 inches 30.4 x 37.8 cm Provenance: Alex Herbage Reference: Cristea 70
15 10 Ben Nicholson St Ives no Etching, with extensive hand-painting in gouache, trimmed within the platemark, in original frame 43/4 x 75/8 inches 12.3 x 19.3 cm frame 9 x 121/8 inches 23 x 31 cm Exhibited: London, Marlborough Fine Art Ben Nicholson New Works: Wash Drawings in Relief and Mixed Media, October November 1968 (85)
16 11 Winifred Nicholson Flowers Oil on canvas 223/4 x 22 inches 58 x 56 cm Provenance: H.S. Ede An artist fascinated by colour and light, Winifred Nicholson studied at the Byam Shaw School of Art, Campden Street, London. Her vision was transformed by her response to the sunlight she experienced in India where she went in She met Ben Nicholson at Boars Hill, Oxford in spring 1920 and he joined her family summer holiday in Devon and Cornwall. They were married the following November. She developed a new interpretation of the flowerpiece in which the flowers were part of the landscape and the structure of the window was rarely seen. In 1923 they bought a 17th century farmhouse, Bankshead, in Cumberland which was her home for the rest of her life. The views from the windows were a constant source of subjects. Visitors to their home included Ivon Hitchens and Paul and Margaret Nash, but it was their meeting with Christopher Wood in 1926 which led to the most significant friendship. He accompanied them to Cornwall where they painted in the late summer of that year. Winifred had solo exhibitions, shows with her husband and with the Seven and Five Society at the Mayor Gallery, Lefevre Galleries, Beaux Arts Gallery, Arthur Tooth & Sons and the Leicester Galleries between 1925 and The catalogue of the show at the Beaux Arts Gallery in 1927 had a foreword by H.S. (Jim) Ede: her reputation as a painter was growing. But two tragic events hit her: first the death by suicide of Christopher Wood in 1930 and, a year later, Ben Nicholson s decision to leave her to live with Barbara Hepworth in London. These painful events led her to avoid places with personal memories and she took her three children first to the Isle of Wight and then to Paris where she stayed until 1938, spending the summer and autumn months in Cumberland. Despite their separation, Winifred and Ben remained in contact and their partnership as artists continued until her death. The influence they brought to one another and their knowledge of the other s work survived their break-up of their marriage. However it was to Christopher Wood that Winifred felt closest, as painters who shared a sense of the spirit of a place and felt that it transformed their pictures.
17 12 Winifred Nicholson Brahms / Vera Moore c.1930 Oil on canvas 24 x 20 inches 61 x 51 cm Provenance: H.S. Ede Literature: : Christopher Andreae, Winifred Nicholson, Farnham 2009 p.106, illustrated Vera Moore, was a New Zealand born pianist, and a close friend of Winifred Nicholson from the 1920s. Her brother Frederick Moore was a member of the teaching staff of the Royal Academy of Music. She was much acclaimed, and the Sydney Morning Herald hailed her performances: Miss Vera Moore is always an artist. Helen Sutherland, the collector, also greatly admired her playing and wrote: Vera Moore is lovely when she plays it is sculpture I think the strange almost bland unseeing eyes and head of sculpture and inward life somehow. Another friend of mine said she looked as if she had just been told a lovely secret when she played (quoted in V. Corbett, A Rhythm, A Rite, A Ceremony: Helen Sutherland at Cockley Moor, Penrith, 1996, p.56).
18 13 Alfred Wallis Four Sailing Boats and Two Steam Boats Oil on board 97/8 x 193/4 inches 25 x 50 cm Provenance: H.S. Ede In 1928 Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood came across Alfred Wallis, nearly 50 years older than Wood, in St Ives and they were impressed by his primitive paintings. Nicholson bought one and was influenced by the older man s handing of materials: it was above all Wallis s untutored approach to organising a picture which appealed to Wood. Alfred Wallis claimed to have gone to sea at the age of nine, and worked as a fisherman based in Penzance, in coastal waters and as far away as Newfoundland until he settled in St Ives in He married Susan Ward 21 years his senior who died in 1922, and he took up painting to cure his loneliness. His paintings depicted the world with which he was familiar. After the years at sea he had become a marine scrap merchant and his subjects were ships, shipwrecks and landscape. His method was to make the size of objects in the pictures relative to their importance, so the subject would dominate the composition. The primitive marine paintings Wallis made are central to the art of St Ives.
19 14 Alfred Wallis Two Sailing Boats Oil and pencil on card, signed in pencil A Wallis, upper right 91/2 x 101/2 inches 24 x 27 cm Provenance: H.S. Ede 15 Alfred Wallis Boat Oil on paper 6 x 77/8 inches 15 x 20 cm Provenance: H.S. Ede
20 16 Alfred Wallis Two Steam Boats Oil on board 97/8 x 173/4 inches 25 x 45 cm Provenance: H.S. Ede
21 17 Henri Gaudier-Brzeska Wrestlers 1914 Herculite resin, cast in 1965 on behalf of Ede by John W. Mills 27½ x 39½ inches 70 x 100 cm Provenance: H.S. Ede Literature: H.S. Ede A Life of Gaudier-Brzeska, London 1930 p.200; Horace Brodsky Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, London 1932 pp.31 32, illustrated opposite p.98; Mervyn Levy Henri Gaudier-Brzeska: Drawings and Sculpture, New York 1965 p.30 pl.82; Roger Cole Burning to Speak: The Life and Art of Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Oxford 1978 no.42 p.93; F. Koslow, The Evolution of Henri Gaudier- Brzeska s Boston Wrestlers Relief, Bulletin of Boston Museum of Fine Arts, 1981 pp Gaudier-Brzeska was commissioned to make a small figure of a wrestler in 1912, and went to a gym to make many studies of wrestlers from life. He responded to the athletic figures and described the fights as having fantastic vivacity and spirit. Another cast of this relief is in the Tate collection, having been presented by Kettle s Yard Collection in Jim Ede acquired a vast collection of work by Gaudier-Brzeska after the artist s partner died in There was no relative to inherit the estate which passed to HM Treasury and thence to the Tate Gallery. A few works were retained by the Tate and the Contemporary Art Society and Ede bought the rest. Henri Gaudier moved to London from France in early 1911 with Sophie Brzeska, whose name he added to his own. Friendships with Jacob Epstein, Ezra Pound and T.E. Hulme introduced him to the avant-garde and his work developed in experimental directions. He was an important figure in the group of artists and writers who brought modernity to the pre-first World War London art world and invented Vorticism. Gaudier-Brzeska was primarily a sculptor and his dynamic use of abstract forms in his carvings as well as his brilliant draughtsmanship signalled his great talent. He joined the French Army in August 1914 but was killed in action in the following summer. Ede s intervention was crucial to the recognition of Gaudier-Brzeska s work and he wrote two studies of the sculptor A Life of Gaudier-Brzeska (1930) and Savage Messiah (1931). It was his intention to secure the artist s reputation and he commissioned casts of his sculptures. Some of these were presented to museums and others retained in his own collection.
22 18 Henri Gaudier-Brzeska Wrestlers c.1914 Linocut, signed in ink H Brodski imp and numbered 23/50, lower left, printed in black ink on wove paper; 87/8 x 11 inches 22.5 x 28 cm Provenance: Dr Frost, bought from the Leicester Galleries 1962 Literature: Horace Brodzky, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, London 1933, pp.44 45, 139; Frances Carey and Anthony Griffiths, Avant-Garde British Printmaking , British Museum 1990 p.45 no.18 Wrestlers is perhaps Gaudier-Brzeska s most important graphic work, and his only example of linocut. The edition was printed by his friend Horace Brodsky but it is unlikely that the proposed run of 50 was ever completed. Brodsky presented a proof of Wrestlers to the British Museum in 1935 and wrote about it in his study of the artist: Brzeska saw me at work, cutting designs at my home, and he decided to do some also. Being near Christmas time he cut a version of his Wrestlers to be used as a card. It is reproduced here and is his only effort at cutting. It was printed on my etching press.
23 19 Henri Gaudier-Brzeska Head of a Young Man Artificial stone cast by Fiorini, one of 12 made c /2 x 91/2 x 73/4 inches 32 x 24.5 x 20 cm Provenance: H.S. Ede Literature: H.S. Ede A Life of Gaudier-Brzeska, London 1930 p.206; Horace Brodsky Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, London 1932 p.179; M. Ménier, La Revue du Louvre, 1965, p.2; Roger Cole Burning to Speak: The Life and Art of Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Oxford 1978 no.9 p.56; Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Katalog 1969 pp.65 66; Evelyn Silber Gaudier-Brzeska: Life and Art, London 1996 p.260 no.44 pl.41 Gaudier s List of Works mentions Tete d enfant masque twice lifesize in Portland stone, as a 1913 work. Ede includes a separate entry for it as Head of a Boy in his supplementary list as a 1914 work but accepted in a letter to R. Morphet (Tate Gallery, 1967) that this dating was too late, and suggested 1912 or even Cole, following Ménier, identifies it with the early months of Gaudier s friendship with Epstein, i.e., the latter part of Lewison suggests early 1913 on the basis of its kinship with the Mask of Brodsky (cat.41), and suggests that Gaudier might have made a mistake describing the material when making out his list.