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Sybil Andrews (1898-1992)
Sybil Andrews (1898-1992)

Bringing in the boat (Coppel SA 24; White 24)

Sybil Andrews (1898-1992)
Bringing in the boat (Coppel SA 24; White 24)
linocut in colours, 1933, on cream Oriental laid tissue, signed, titled and numbered 16/60 in the image at upper left, with margins, pale mount staining, the colours very fresh, in very good condition, framed
B. 333 x 260 mm., S. 360 x 297 mm.
Clifford S. Ackley and Stephen Coppel, British Prints From the Machine Age, Rhythms of Modern Life 1914-1939, Thames & Hudson, 2009
Post lot text
Following the First World War, sport became a popular and appealing pastime for the general public. This came about following a combination of factors, including the 1918-19 influenza epidemic and the new fashion for long and lean figures, both of which triggered an increased interest in physical fitness and health.

In this context, the Grosvenor School linocut artist's, of which Sybil Andrews was a founding member, regarded sport and the spirit of unified team work ideal to exercise their ideas of speed and movement, so presenting the human body as a perfectible and dynamic machine. Andrews was particularly interested in expressing this rhythmic motion of human bodies in everyday scenes like walking through a crowded city park or commuting home after work.

Bringing in the boat is a perfect example of such quotidian activity along the river Thames. Rowing is, in this regard, a sport where team work, man's power and mechanical coordinated rhythm are the core values. Andrews's composition of eight rowers lifting the boat to get into the water is a perfect representation of the body in motion. This effect is also heightened by the oarsmen angular bodies, square-box heads and fingerless hands which make the crew look like robotic machines and not real human beings.

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