Whence & Whither?

Cyril E. Power British

Not on view

In "Whence & Whither?," Power portrays a seemingly endless line of faceless commuters as they descend underground on an escalator to catch the London subway, or Tube, at rush hour. He layered flat planes of bold, often contrasting colors, and used curvilinear and concentric lines, jutting diagonals, and sharp edges to represent positive aspects of modernity (such as speed and efficiency, the intermingling of classes and genders in urban centers) as well the negative (such as feelings of alienation and reification). Power made numerous sketches of passengers, one of which includes the caption "THE ROBOTTOMLESS PIT, HOMO MECHANIENS." He carved the design for Whence & Whither? into four linoleum blocks, each corresponding to specific colors and compositional elements. To expand his palette, he layered impressions from different blocks and altered the amount of pressure applied.

Whence & Whither?, Cyril E. Power (British, London 1872–1951 London), Linocut on Japanese paper

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