Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.


vorticism (vôrˈtĭsĭzəm), short-lived 20th-century art movement related to futurism. Its members sought to simplify forms into machinelike angularity. Its principal exponent was a French sculptor, Gaudier-Brzeska. The movement, however, had its largest following in England, where Wyndham Lewis, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and T. S. Eliot wrote about it.


See W. C. Wees, Vorticism and the English Avant-Garde, 1910–1915 (1972).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
"Vile Bodies, Vorticism, and Italian Futurism." Journal of Modern Literature.
Nevinson, often to be found in the Cafe Royal, was Marinetti's foremost supporter in London, and coauthor of the Futurist manifesto Vital English Art (1914) that caused Lewis to expel him from the Rebel Art Centre, expediting the formation of Vorticism. His appearance in the poem's early draft makes him seem at once ridiculous and mildly villainous, and his association with the 'young man carbuncular' marks Eliot's decisive insult against the Futurist movement.
See Jane Beckett and Deborah Cherry, "Modern women, modern spaces: women, metropolitan culture and Vorticism," in Women artists and modernism, Katy Deepwell, ed.
For Eliot, Ezra Pound and Windham Lewis, the leaders of Vorticism, which is a masculine movement, are the best men of letters in London.
Critics have long seen the connection between these historical events and writing explicitly about war, or in selected avant-garde literary movements--like Vorticism and Futurism--that placed rhetorical violence at the center of their calls to BLAST cultural enemies or to find in art beautiful ideas which kill.
Likewise, Brooke Allen considers it a fiction that is Futurist in form, if not in feeling (320), a pedigree likewise traced by Archie Loss, who dubs it "one of the best examples of Vorticist and Futurist principles in English prose" (158), and by Michael Gorra, who, however, sees its Vorticism as wedded rather to Firbank than to Marinetti (205).
In art, vorticism and cubism stretched old approaches; in poetry, free verse broke old forms; and in music about 1912, ragtime overturned the waltz and two-step.
(6.) Pound's Imagism, for that matter, was not as interested in Chinese translation as was his Vorticism, though this is not how most people remember it.
"A Hyperspace Poetics, or, Words in Space: Digital Poetry Through Ezra Pound's Vorticism." Configurations 17.1 (2009): 161193.
In his later "Vorticism" essay, Pound offers only ambiguous and negative definitions of the image, tantalizing in their obscurity: "the word beyond formulated language" (Gaudier-Brzeska 88) and "the furthest possible remove from rhetoric" (83).
Like many of his contemporaries, Rodker embraced Imagism and Vorticism, which dismissed traditional art forms in favour of an anti-bourgeois, nonrepresentational aesthetic that spread across Europe in successive waves and under numerous guises during the first three decades of the twentieth century.
"Energy concentrated in exactness" was the organizing principle of Pound's Imagism, and later of Vorticism. In one of the most quoted anecdotes of literary modernism, Pound recounts the writing of "In a Station of the Metro," the Imagist poem par excellence.