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Second City or Absent City? Futurism and Glasgow’s Lack of Urban Modernism

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Vee Pollock


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Despite having a renowned group of painters, The Glasgow Boys, Glasgow, at the beginning of the 20th century, failed to produce any significant form of urban modernism in art. Whilst the French Impressionists recorded the boulevards and jardins of Haussman's Paris, the German Expressionists sought to capture bustling Berlin streets in angular configurations of jarring tones and the Italian Futurists pursued a style that would reflect all that was vibrant and aggressive about urban life, Glasgow's principal group of painters rarely focused on the city that gave them their name. By examining the reaction to an exhibition of Futurist paintings in Glasgow in the early 20th century this article explores the reasons for this lack of an urban modernism considering the artistic establishment of the time and the aesthetic climate, alongside social and cultural factors.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pollock VL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of the Scottish Society of Art History

Year: 2004

Volume: 9

Pages: 87-94

ISSN (print): 1362-248X

Publisher: Glasgow, UK