Official website of the Foundation Juan March

Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957)

February 5 – May 16, 2010

Monday – Saturday: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Sunday and holidays: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Wednesdays: 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Fridays: 4:30 – 7 p.m.

Mondays: 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
The Fundación offers free guided tours for school groups (maximum of 25 students per group) reserved in advance by calling 91 435 42 40 (ext. 296).


Wyndham Lewis
Blast, No. 1. The Vorticists’ magazine. Cover. London: John Lane, 1914. Edited by Wyndham Lewis.

To complement the present exhibition, the Fundación Juan March is publishing a Spanish edition of Blast, "this enormous puce coloured periodical", which was, in Wyndham Lewis´s own words, "the verbal expression of a movement in the visual arts whose brightest moment came about in 1913-1914, between the outbreak of the war and its origins in the autumn of 1912". That movement was Vorticism, the only English avant-garde art movement and one that Lewis described as consisting of, "in fact, what I personally did and said during a certain period".

Wyndham Lewis was, of course, far more than just the founder of Vorticism, but it is impossible to approach this fascinating personality without being familiar with the first edition of Blast (which saw a second, final issue published during the war). The journal would constitute a sort of summary of his enormous, multi-faceted personality and his world. With precursors such as Apollinaire at his most experimental and the Futurists, Blast’s bold, striking typography (which seems to have migrated to its pages from the huge billboards to be seen on city buildings at the start of the 20th century or street posters from the earliest years of advertising) was the medium that conveyed numerous explicit and implicit messages to the reader.

Among the explicit messages published in Blast were the Vorticist Manifesto and the blessings and curses called down by Lewis the radical, avant-garde figure in the form of his own texts, with all their ambition and their brilliant and imaginative style, wide-ranging sense of humour and somewhat aggressive talent for parody. Among the implicit messages to be found in the journal were the impressive roll-call of signatories to the Manifesto and, in general, the names of the writers and artists who contributed to Blast (Ezra Pound, Rebecca West, Ford Madox Ford, Henri Gaudier Brzeska, Etchells, Roberts and Epstein, to name just a few), once again demonstrating Lewis’s notable capacity for leadership and his outstanding abilities as a cultural "entrepreneur". In addition, we encounter the extremely wide variety of subjects covered - from Feng-Shui to the German woodcut, and including a review of Kandinsky’s recently published text On the Spiritual in Art - all indicating the cultured but also cutting-edge nature of Lewis’s thinking

This Spanish edition has been translated and edited by Yolanda Morató, a translator and specialist in the figure of Wyndham Lewis. It includes an introduction by Paul Edwards, the leading expert on Lewis´s work and the principal advisor to the exhibition Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957), with which this publication is associated. It also has a text by Kevin Power, who some decades ago published in the journal Poesía one of the few publications on Lewis, Blast and Vorticism to have appeared in Spain. He offers a series of deft biographical portraits of the signatories of the Vorticist Manifesto, who comprise a veritable “Who’s Who” of the artistic and literary scene in Britain in the first half of the 20th century. The typography and design of this edition are by Alfonso Meléndez and Guillermo Nagore.

Blast, that "enormous puce coloured periodical", can certainly be included in the canon of early avant-garde journals, and the Fundación hopes that it will captivate the Spanish reader in the same way that it has fascinated so many others, from art historians and artists to critics and specialists in typography, not to speak of the way it attracted attention in the 1970s within the US and British "Glam" music and art scenes for its boldness and daring as an object. Overall, our aim is to create many more enthusiasts for the work of one of the most eccentric and remarkable artists of the 20th century.