Helen Saunders: Modernist Rebel ★★★★ The Courtauld | Oct 14, 2022 - Jan 29, 2023

Ostensibly The Courtauld has two separate exhibitions: Helen Saunders: Modernist Rebel and A Modern Masterpiece Uncovered: Wyndham Lewis, Helen Saunders and Praxitella. However, they complement each other and are only a floor apart. On the first floor is the show of Helen Saunders' work and on the second is the intriguing discovery of her lost painting made by two students at The Courtauld. Helen Saunders: Modernist Rebel is a fascinating retrospective of an artist who was largely lost to posterity until quite recently. She was a member of the short-lived Vorticist movement and in 1914 was one of only two women to sign their manifesto. This exhibition draws on twenty of the artist's drawings and watercolours that were gifted to The Courtauld in 2016. Although comparatively small, it is a wonderful insight into Saunders' evolution as an artist and displays the remarkably varied and dynamic nature of her creative output. A Modern Masterpiece Uncovered: Wyndham Lewis, Helen Saunders and Praxitella tells the absorbing tale of how Saunders' work, Atlantic City, was discovered under Wyndham Lewis' painting of film critic and curator, Iris Barry. Its detection is a terrific story of artistic sleuthing, and its emergence is analogous to the rediscovery of Saunders herself. The rekindling of interest in her work cannot help but be fuelled by both of these excellent exhibitions.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Image: Helen Saunders (1885-1963), Hammock, c. 1913-14, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust) © Estate of Helen Saunders, Brigid Peppin Gift, 2016

When, Where, Getting there:

Most Popular

São Paulo Dance Company ★★★★★ Sadler's Wells Theatre | February 9 & 10, 2024

The Hills of California ★★★★ Harold Pinter Theatre | Jan 27 - Jun 15, 2024

Naked Boys Singing, The Garden Theatre at The Eagle - ★★★★ - Until October 25, 2020

St. Martin in-the-fields: Lunchtime Concerts ★★★★ FREE

This Might Not Be It ★★★★★ Bush Theatre | Jan 30 - Mar 7, 2024

Bronco Billy – The Musical ★★★ Charing Cross Theatre | Jan 24 - Apr 7, 2024

The Handmaid’s Tale ★★★ London Coliseum | February 1 - 15, 2024

Before After ★★★ Southwark Playhouse | Feb 7 - Mar 2, 2024

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie ★★★★ Sadler's Wells Peacock Theatre | Feb 8 - Mar 23, 2024

Colonel Saab ★★★★★ Trafalgar Square | 2024

The City Life Magazine | Reviews & Ratings