John Cecil Stephenson

Cecil Stephenson was one of the pioneers of abstract art in England, along with Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, John Piper, Edward Wadsworth and half-a-dozen others. This move towards abstraction had two principal strands, one leaning towards surrealism and the other to geo-metric abstraction, or Constructivism as it came to be known. Stephenson and his friends were mostly in the latter camp, and the London Gallery exhibition drew them together along with a distinguished group of foreign exhibitors including Moholy-Nagy, Calder, Giacometti, Helion and Naum Gabo. Just as Mondrian began his journey towards non-figuration through the modification and simplification of forms, natural and man-made ñ branches of trees and elements of church architecture ñ so Stephenson began his through isolating and refining industrial elements ñ cogs, axles, wheels, pistons, etc – derived from the multiple pieces of machinery he managed to house within his Hampstead studio.

Works Featured in this catalogue