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Return Of The East London Group

April 29, 2014
by the gentle author

In 2012, David Buckman published From Bow to Biennale which recovered the lost history of The East London Group, one of the major artistic movements to come out of the East End in the last century yet – extraordinarily – almost forgotten until recently.

Today, we preview some of the works – several of which have not been seen publicly in generations – from the major retrospective of nearly seventy paintings by members of the Group, accompanied by archive material, which opens at the Nunnery in Bow on May 9th and runs through into the summer.

Columbia Market, Bethnal Green by Albert Turpin

Canal at Mile End by Walter Steggles

St Clements Hospital Bow by Grace Oscroft

Bryant & May Factory, Bow by Grace Oscroft

Old Houses in the East End by Grace Oscroft, dated 1934

Hackney Empire by Albert Turpin

Pavilion in Grove Hall Park, Bow, by Harold Steggles

The Lumber Yard by Harold Steggles, dated 1929

The Scullery by Walter Steggles

The Stable by Walter Steggles, exhibited at the Tate 1929

Brymay Wharf by Walter Steggles

Bow Backwater by Walter Steggles

Brymay Wharf by Walter Steggles

Old Ford Rd by Harold Steggles

The Chapel by Walter Steggles, dated 1932

Railway siding by Walter Steggles, dated 1929

Bow Bridge by Walter Steggles

Blackwall by Harold Steggles

Warner St, Clerkenwell, by Harold Steggles

Canonbury Tower by Harold Steggles, dated 1938

Canonbury Grove by Elwin Hawthorne

Canvey Island by Walter Steggles

The Chair by the Bed by Henry Silk

FROM BOW TO BIENNALE – The East London Group of Artists c. 1928-1936 – runs at the Nunnery, 181 Bow Rd, E3 2SJ from 9th May until 13th July

You can read more about the East London Group

From Bow To Biennale

Elwin Hawthorne, Artist

Albert Turpin, Artist & Mayor of Bethnal Green

Phyllis Bray, Artist

Henry Silk, Artist & Basketmaker

From Bow to Biennale: Artists of the East London Group by David Buckman can be ordered direct from the publisher Francis Boutle and copies are on sale in bookshops including Brick Lane Bookshop, Broadway Books, Newham Bookshop, Stoke Newington Bookshop, London Review Bookshop, Town House, Daunt Books, Foyles, Hatchards and Tate Bookshop.

17 Responses leave one →
  1. April 29, 2014

    Thanks for sharing the wonderful paintings. Hope to see more another time?! Valerie

  2. April 29, 2014

    Oh wow! Fabulous artists.

  3. Elizabeth cornwell permalink
    April 29, 2014

    Oh,I do like those paintings!

  4. Keith West permalink
    April 29, 2014

    Very interested in the work shown here. I wrote a memoir of my experiences as an art student for the Tate Archive: TGA20121/7 2013. I have an open arrangement to add to the appendices and have been discussing with artists their experiences as art students . Any material will go into the archive. Anyone interested in contributing please contact me Thanks, Keith West

  5. Greg Tingey permalink
    April 29, 2014

    Fascinating that some places (Canonbury Tower for instance) have not changed, but others (the Bow back river) have altered beyond recognition.
    I will certainly go.
    I’m reminded of the French painter Caillebotte’s style in some of them.

  6. April 29, 2014

    I never heard of the East London Group before and their work impressed me a lot! It reminds me to the Edward Hopper paintings…

    Thanks to the G.A. for fetching all these treasures!

    Love & Peace

  7. Vicky permalink
    April 29, 2014

    Wonderful paintings. I shall certainly see them at the Nunnery this Summer.

  8. David permalink
    April 29, 2014

    These are a real eye opener to me – the subject matter is I think rare in pictorial representations of London, but the artistry is wonderful. The colours and shapes really stand out and I would venture if these had been created by a school of French artists, we would have heard much more about them. Buried treasure indeed and glad to see them in the light of day.

    Thank you.

  9. April 29, 2014

    wonderful subtle color and sobriety. thanks for introducing us to these painters!

  10. Sarah Perry permalink
    April 29, 2014

    Great paintings. Shared the post onto Facebook

  11. May 1, 2014

    I am so looking forward to this exhibition – I have been following the East London a Group on twitter and have been delighted by the images they have been posting. Wonderful to see so many here all together.

  12. Christine Carder permalink
    May 1, 2014

    Super paintings ,hope very much to see the exhibition when we are up from the West country in the summer so thank because would not have known about it without your post.

  13. Pauline Taylor permalink
    May 5, 2014

    The Elwin Hawthorne is admirable, I love paintings like this that are so full of atmosphere that you feel that you are there. Lovely to see all of the others too, thanks for sharing them. I am an ex art student and an artist (sadly lapsed).

  14. June 15, 2014

    Ran into the exhibition by chance the other day, lovely little hidden gallery and an interesting exhibition, though I’d love to see more of Steggles’ crisp quiet work that makes Bow look like a de Chirico dreamworld. Does anyone know which chapel is shown in his 1932 painting?

  15. Caroline Gilfillan permalink
    June 25, 2015

    Just come across these beautiful paintings. Thanks for showing them here I love the sense of colour and shape. Funny how so many of these places are recognisable but not cluttered by cars, satellite dishes etc.

  16. Lynda Lawrie permalink
    March 18, 2016

    I was first made aware of this group when visiting the Whitechapel Gallery a while ago with my U3A art appreciation group and absolutely loved what I saw. They are so evocative of the time they portray. The lack of traffic and people instills a feeling of calm, and has anyone noticed that some of the street lighting shown are works of art themselves, I wonder if they are still there? Thinking of making it a project to visit the areas to see then and now.
    There is an exhibition of their paintings ‘Out of the City’ at the Beecroft Gallery Southend on Sea, from 19th of this month and I have been lucky enough to have been invited to the private view this evening, can’t wait.

  17. Patrick Clark permalink
    March 22, 2016

    Love these paintings. Oddly enough, I just bought painting signed H. Steggles this weekend in vintage market in Canada. I wonder if it could be one of his later works.

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