CAMDEN TOWN GROUP

1911 - ?

Camden Town Group, group of English Post-Impressionist artists met on a weekly basis in the studio of the painter Walter Sickert in Camden Town in London. Upon Sickert’s return to London from Venice in 1905, Harold Gilman, Frederick Spencer Gore, Lucien Pissarro, Augustus John, Henry Lamb, J.B. Manson, Robert Bevan, Walter Bayes, and Charles Ginner, all recent visitors to Paris, assembled at Sickert’s studio. Their meetings brought a sense of French bohemianism into the English art world of the time and when art critic Frank Rutter joined the group in 1908, he proposed that the group organise itself after the French Salon des Indépendants. They thus formed the Allied Artists Association, which was independent of the established art societies such as the Royal Academy and in 1908 the association held its exhibits of French and English Post-Impressionism at the Royal Albert Hall. In 1911 Sickert’s circle officially became the Camden Town Group when one of its sixteen members was John Doman Turner. At the three important exhibitions held at the Carfax Gallery sponsored by the Camden Town Group in 1911 and 1912, early French Fauve and Cubist paintings were introduced to the public. The Camden Town artists were also open to the influence of Post-Impressionists such as Paul Gauguin and Paul Cézanne and because the group was primarily interested in pictorial structure, it particularly turned to Cézanne for inspiration. Their subject matter was derived from the everyday life of an English industrial town. Despite an expressive use of colour, their paintings remained representational and realistic, reflecting an interpretation of a modern aesthetic different from the more formally daring developments emerging in Paris at the same time. The Camden Town Group was absorbed in 1913 by the London Group of Artists, a combination of several smaller groups of contemporary English artists.