Liverpool Shipping

Edward Alexander Wadsworth British

Not on view

Wadsworth applied the bold geometric aesthetic he developed when affiliated with Vorticism, a modernist British movement, to these striking images of "dazzle ships." Developed in 1917, the dazzle system involved multicolored optical patterns designed to disorient German U-boats that patrolled the waters around Britain launching torpedoes that sunk both Allied warships and passenger ships. Wadsworth, who worked for the navy, supervised the application of the camouflage. In his prints, he reduced its many colors to a more severe black-and-white pattern. He also played with perspective, flattening the ships in Dock Scene and adopting an elevated vantage point for Liverpool Shipping.

Liverpool Shipping, Edward Alexander Wadsworth (British, Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire 1889–1949), Woodcut on Japanese paper

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