Camden town group


Just before World War I a group of English artists founded the Camden Town Group of British painters, named from the London district in which Walter Sickert, one of the founders, lived and whose studio the group used for meetings. This group including Harold Gilman, Spencer Gore, Lucient Pissarro, Wyndham Lewis and Charles Ginner had been meeting informally since 1905, but was officially established in 1911. However, it was short lived after three financially unsuccessful exhibitions at the Carfax Gallery, whose owner, Arthur Clifton, then declined to hold more. Members then accepted the invitation of William Marchant of the Goupil Gallery with larger premises to exhibit, and, with his insistence they expand in size, they formed The London Group. The original Camden Town Group was influenced by Post-Impressionism and Expressionism, but concentrated on scenes of often drab suburban life. Sickert himself said he preferred the kitchen to the drawing room as a scene for paintings. While the painterly handling of the works inspired comparison to Impressionism, and the emotional tone suggested a narrative* more akin to genre painting, specifically Degas's Interior, the documentary realism of the Camden Town paintings was without precedent in British art. These and other works were painted in heavy impasto and narrow tonal range. Many other obese nudes were painted at this time, in which the 'fleshiness' of the figures is connected to the thickness of the paint, devices that were later adapted by Lucian Freud. The influence of these paintings on successive generations of British artists has been noted in the works of Freud, David Bomberg, Francis Bacon, Frank Auerbach, Howard Hodgkin, and Leon Kossoff. Source:; AskART biography of Robert Bevan