Rediscovering Rupert Lee: WWI artist in retrospective

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The Independent Culture

The artist, printmaker and sculptor Rupert Lee was a contemporary of Paul Nash, Stanley Spencer and Nevinson, an associate of the Bloomsbury group and a key figure in the Surrealist movement. For the first time in ninety-years, his work is due to be exhibited at a London gallery.

Born in 1887, the artist fought in World War I, documenting the horrors of the trenches in his Cubist and Vorticist-inspired paintings and woodcuts. Lee suffered from shell shock following the March Retreat of 1918 and was treated for the condition at the Seale Hayne Military Hospital, where he made many more paintings and drawings, reflecting on his condition.

Having collaborated with John and Paul Nash to produce the Sun Calendar Yearbook and The Poetry Bookshop between 1919 and 1922, he began specialising as a sculptor and was elected president of the London Group. After organising an important open-air sculpture exhibition on the roof gardens of Selfridges in the 1930s, he became affiliated with Roger Fry, Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell of the Bloomsbury group.

Click on the image to see a preview of the Rupert Lee retrospective

During his ten year presidency at the London Group he was centrally involved in developing British modern art and raised the profile of young artists like Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. As a formative member of the Surrealist movement in England, he was chairman of the International Surrealist exhibition at the New Burlington Galleries in 1936.

The Rupert Lee retrospective will be at the Court Gallery at Gallery 27, Cork Street, London from the 3rd til the 8th May.