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A Crisis of Brilliance

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Marina Vaizey reviews the exhibition Nash, Nevinson, Spencer, Gertler, Carrington, Bomberg: A Crisis of Brilliance, 1908-1922 at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, on view through September 22, 2013.

Vaizey writes that the exhibition examines six students of Slade teacher Henry Tonks (1862-1937) who "presided over several generations of London-based artists who formed the bedrock of modernism, from the absorption of Impressionism to the various isms of the turn of the last century. He referred to this cohort of his students, here being celebrated, as 'a crisis of brilliance.' It is the generation who first gaily embraced the bohemian freedoms of art school and then were tempered by the horrors of World War I … Several [artists] have only relatively recently been revalued – CRW Nevinson and David Bomberg, for example – while others have been studied, shown, admired and honoured for several generations, notably the eccentric Stanley Spencer."

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