Privately Held

Dismorr, Jessica

(1885 – 1939)

Two Forms , 1936

SKU: 9979

Oil on board
46 x 61 cm

Size:
Height: 46cm
Width: 61cm

DESCRIPTION

Provenance:
Private Collection
Exhibitied:

Uproar!, Ben Uri, 2014

Exhibited: 50/50; Fifty British Women Artists 1900 – 1950, Worshipful Company of Mercers (3rd December 2018 Р23rd March, 2019); The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds (9th April, 2019 Р27th July, 2019).

Even at the end of her career, Jessica Dismorr was still making radical

shifts in her practice. This abstract, one of a series of such paintings that

preoccupied her final years, is typical of the palette of soft greys and putty

colours and the curving amorphous forms in her work of the late 1930s.

Although this painting may at first seem quiet, restrained and even

elegant to our eyes, Dismorr chose to show these late works at the antifascist

artists groups that were being formed at this time in response

to the rise of the Nazis. She exhibited with the Artists’ International

Association, and was one of only seven British women to be included in

Die Olympiade onder Dictatuur in Amsterdam in 1936, an international

show designed to counter the Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebbels’

efforts to condemn Modernism. Among the books in Jessica Dismorr’s

library after her death in the summer of 1939 was a copy of 5 on

Revolutionary Art (London, Wishart, 1935), a volume of collected essays

on how art could answer the political crisis and lead the way forward.

In that sense, even though Untitled may seem worlds apart from

Dismorr’s early work as member of the Rhythm Group in the 1910s ‚Äì

with its figurative subject matter and vivid palette – there is consistency

and common ground in her unceasing risk-taking and desire to be part of

an avant-garde whose work spoke to the modern world.

Commentary by Alicia Foster, art historian and novelist. She is curating an exhibition, Jessica Dismorr and her Contemporaries, which will open at Pallant House Gallery in 2019.

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THE ARTIST

Dismorr, Jessica

1885 – 1939

In 1870, Gustave Courbet established a “Federation of Artists” for the free and uncensored expansion of art. The group’s members included Gill, HonorŽ Daumier, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Eugne Pottier, Jules Dalou, and Manet.

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