The Something Road Group

Illustration © The Estate of John David Roberts. Reproduced with the permission of the William Roberts Society. Catalogue information based on the catalogue raisonné by David Cleall. For this and full details of the exhibitions cited, see the links below. Any auction prices quoted may not include all fees and taxes, such as VAT and Artist's Resale Right charges.

The Something Road Group

The Something Road Group, c.1956
Pencil and watercolour, 37.7 cm x 55.9 cm

The 'Something Road Group' of the title is presumably a parody of artists' groups taking their name from specific locations, such as the Euston Road Group, associated with the School of Drawing and Painting founded in the Euston Road in 1937 by William Coldstream, Victor Pasmore, Claude Rogers and Graham Bell; the Fitzroy Street Group, formed by Walter Sickert in 1907; and the Camden Town Group, again formed by Walter Sickert, around 1911. The Camden Town Group was a men-only exhibiting group, in contrast to Roberts's Something Road Group, which significantly features women artists and sculptors. Roberts appears to find amusement at the women artists' trying to juggle their artistic aspirations with their role as mothers – an idea which is also explored in Artist and Wife 1940. Another theme that had been explored earlier (in The Critic Intervenes c.1948, for example) is the interference of the art critic in the work of the artist. In The Something Road Group there are two interventions by critics in response to the art works. Roberts exhibited with the London Group (founded in 1913) until 1949. In that year he depicted a London Group gathering in the watercolour The London Group Gives a Reception, a complex group composition with some similarities to The Something Road Group.
PROVENANCE: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (through the Felton Bequest, 1959)
EXHIBITION HISTORY: Leicester Galleries (1) 1958, Melbourne 2007
Cf. Les Rapins 1946–9

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