You write the reviews: Modern Painters - The Camden Town Group, Tate Britain,London

In the period 1911-1913, a group of British artists regularly met in Camden Town, north London, and established themselves as the vanguard of early-20th-century British art. The painters, including Walter Sickert, Harold Gilman, Charles Ginner and Spencer Gore, depicted London life in a style influenced by French Impressionism and other Modernist styles.

Tate Britain's huge retrospective of their work traces the artists' developing styles. A group dynamic exists, with Ginner's Piccadilly Circus leading to a flurry of other street scenes, while an interior of a music hall inspired a number of stage paintings. In one of these, Sickert's majestic Noctes Ambrosianae sees him turn his gaze towards the gods of a Drury Lane theatre, where the blur of faces appear like pinpricks in the dark.

Sickert's paintings are more innovative than his contemporaries. Ennui is a domestic scene showing a couple subsumed by lethargy in a dimly lit room. Despite the gloomy themes, there is a mischievous element, too; the same pair appear to be depicted in Off to the Pub, with the man resorting to alcohol to alleviate his despair.

Sickert appears to enjoy toying with Edwardian prudishness. While his colleagues portrayed demure paintings of women washing, Sickert paints bedroom scenes with his subjects openly gazing at the viewer. With the Camden Town Nudes series, which depict a contemporary murder, he adopts a more sinister theme. Indeed, his fascination with this event became the catalyst for an unlikely case identifying him as Jack the Ripper.

The exhibition captures the development of the other artists, too, with Gilman's An Eating House one of the best. In it, the artist's gaze roves above the heads of diners in a cafe, offering an outstanding example of how a painting fires the viewer's imagination by alluding to what's left out rather than what's included.

The later paintings in the show portray the devastating impact of the Great War on Britain. Even the elegant portraits of brightly lit drawing rooms are suffused with melancholy. Again, Sickert captures the mood perfectly in Brighton Pierrots, where extravagantly dressed actors perform in front of a sparse audience, many of whom are men with bandaged heads.

This engaging exhibition also includes Pathé News footage, which provides an illuminating backdrop to the social changes alluded to in the paintings.

To 5 May (020-7887 8888)

Andrew Byrne, Bank employee, London

Arts and Entertainment
Shades of glory: Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend

Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act

Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Arts and Entertainment

Will Poulter will play the shape-shifting monsterfilm
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

    'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

    In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
    VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

    How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

    Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
    They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

    Typefaces still matter in the digital age

    A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
    Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

    'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

    New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
    The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

    Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

    Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

    Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
    Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

    Crisp sales are in decline

    As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
    Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

    Ronald McDonald the muse

    A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
    13 best picnic blankets

    13 best picnic blankets

    Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
    Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

    Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

    Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
    Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'