Blog / Vorticism: what an art historian sees

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By Wendy

Duke Magazine writer Aaron Kirschenfeld spent about an hour walking with curator Mark Antliff through “The Vorticists: Rebel Artists in London and New York, 1914-1918.” The result is a lovely piece in the upcoming issue of Duke Magazine. Most people will learn about the short-lived Vorticists movement at this exhibition. Mark Antliff, who is co-curator of the exhibition and a professor of art history at Duke, helps make sense of the machine-age forms, vibrant colors and energetic imagery.

Here is an excerpt from Aaron’s article:

Greeting visitors just inside the entrance to the Nasher Museum of Art’s recent exhibition on Vorticism—a short-lived, early twentieth-century art movement—is a metal sculpture of a human torso with something resembling a fetus inside, topped by the head of a bird that appears to be wearing an elongated helmet from a suit of armor. Could that really be right?

Mark Antliff walks up to the torso and gives it a long, critical look. He clears his throat. “The first thing you do is you look the work of art and you contemplate it,” he says. “You look at the title, then you read the wall label, and then you understand the whole context for the creation of this movement.”

Read the entire piece here.

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