Between the two World Wars, a number of British artists, including many printmakers, created bold new works that reflected pioneering art movements imported from the Continent, such as Italian Futurism and French Cubism.
Although many were inspired by the energy and modernity of cities like New York, the artists of the Grosvenor School located the epicentre of modernity in London, creating vibrant linocuts depicting its urban centres, tube stations, and double-decker buses.
One such was Cyril Power, originally a London architect, who relocated his practice to Bury St. Edmunds after World War I. There he met Sybil Andrews, for whom he left his wife and family, and moved back to London to pursue a career as a printmaker, fulfilling commissions for, amongst others, London Underground.
His linocut shown above, Whence & Whither (The Cascade), depicts Tottenham Court Road Tube Station escalators in about 1930.
It appears in a new book, British Prints of the Machine Age, which accompanies an exhibition called Rhythms of Modern Life. This has just finished at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Mass., but opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on September 23rd, running until December 14th. In November, 2009, it will again appear at the Wolfsonian-Florida International University in Miami Beach.