Art e-Facts 55

British art group Unit One was formed by Paul Nash in 1933 to promote modern art, architecture and design. The two major currents in modern art at the time were seen as being abstract art on the one hand and Surrealism on the other. Unit One embraced the full spectrum, Nash made both abstract and Surrealist work in the mid 1930s and played a major part in organising the International Surrealist Exhibition in London in 1936 (British Surrealism).

The launch of the group was announced in a letter from Nash to The Times newspaper, in which he wrote that Unit One was ‘to stand for the expression of a truly contemporary spirit, for that thing which is recognised as peculiarly of today in painting, sculpture and architecture’. The first and only group exhibition was held in 1934 accompanied by a book Unit One, subtitled The Modern Movement in English Architecture, Painting and Sculpture.

The other artists associated with the group were Armstrong, Bigge, Burra, Hepworth, Moore, Nicholson, Wadsworth and the architects Welles Coates and Colin Lucas.