There is No Vulgarity in Revolt Part 7: Conclusion and Final Thoughts

“Vortograph of Ezra Pound” -Alvin Langdon Coburn (1917)

Well one and half months, seven books, two magazines, thousands of words (sorry about that), and a countless number of poems and works of art later, I’ve finally reached a point in my research where I had to stop things.  That being said, I can hardly call my research complete.  While Vorticism wasn’t a tremendous movement like Cubism or Futurism, there are still numerous avenues of research to pursue within the movement.  I’ll outline a few of them here.

  1. The first area for expansion would be to include more artists, poets, sculptors, etc. There were 11 signers of the Vorticist Manifesto—I covered five of them, not to mention the numerous other artists who worked alongside the movement, but refused to sign the manifesto for one reason or another.
  2. Additionally, I only covered painting, printing, sculpture, poetry, and prose. Vorticism had a few brief forays into photography (with the “Vortographs” of Alvin Langdon Coburn) and music (with the atonal, avant-garde symphonies of George Antheil).  An extended project would include these additional mediums.
  3. I analyzed Vorticism with a focus on the movement’s portrayal of conflict. However, the movement’s complicated relationship with women (there were only two women who signed the manifesto and the movement professed a subtext of male superiority, yet BLAST served as the stylistic model for Mina Loy’s Feminist Manifesto and the magazine contained a section labelled “To Suffragettes” which provided one of the earliest encouragements of first-wave feminism from the artistic community) also opens it up for a Feminist critique.
  4. One astute commenter also noted that while Vorticist sculptors modelled their art after non-western art in order to disrupt the western art of the time, they also appropriated the art of these cultures without really acknowledging their inspiration. This fact, paired with the British colonial culture the movement worked under, makes Vorticism ripe for a postcolonial analysis.

Despite these, I still managed to learn an exceptional amount, not only about an art movement whose name I stumbled upon in an article, but also about the vibrant art history of early 20th century Europe, neo-primitivist sculpture, avant-garde free verse poetry and theatre, and the extremely wide selection of Modernist “little magazines.”  While Vorticism is now long gone and largely forgotten among the general public, its frustration with the complacency of the times, its disruption of the largest art movements of the time, and its pragmatic approach to a technological machine age all still remain relevant and helpful to approaching similar struggles within our own era.  I hope to have illuminated some of that relevancy to you all.