Unit One

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A group of avant-garde British artists formed in 1933, its members including Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Paul Nash, and Ben Nicholson. The group held one exhibition, in London in 1933 (it toured to six provincial venues in 1934–5), and published a book, Unit One: The Modern Movement in English Architecture, Painting and Sculpture, edited by Herbert Read, in 1934. In the introduction to this volume (which was originally intended as the first of a series), Read explained that the name was chosen because ‘though as persons, each artist is a unit, in the social structure they must, to the extent of their common interests be one’. The group had no common doctrine or programme and was breaking up by 1935. Despite its short life, however, it made a considerable impact on British art of the 1930s, helping to promote abstraction and Surrealism.

Subjects: Art.

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