Circles and Squares

I have been reading a new book, Circles and Squares, about the Hampstead art world in the 1930s, which demonstrates very clearly the social, as well as artistic, interconnectedness of the avant garde art world, with Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson living in Mall Studios, Herbert and Loulou Read nearly next door, and Henry and Irina Moore in Parkhill Road nearby. There are good descriptions, for example, of the supper club organised at the Isokon building when Raymond Postgate organised a Jamaican menu and Marcel Breuer rang Jack Pritchard up in the middle of the night because his pee had turned blue. It makes the 1930s art world feel small-scale, localised and attractively amateurish.

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