Claude Flight was born in London in 1881, having a slightly late start, he enrolled at Heatherley’s School of Fine Art in 1912. Flight’s true direction in art began when he saw the Futurist Exhibition at the Sackville Gallery, London in 1912. Influenced by this and the Cubist movement, he became concerned with notions of speed and movement, with simplification of forms, with a dynamic linear rhythm. His subject matter, as was the life of the city, popular forms of entertainment, cars and buses, people and things in motion.
He became a member of the 7 and 5 group with Percy Jowett, Paul Nash, Christopher Wood, Francis Hodgkins, and John Piper under Ben Nicholson’s influence. It was with the 7 and 5 society that he was able to regularly exhibit his oil and watercolour paintings, which where subsequently reproduced in some of the leading art magazines of the time such as The Studio, Colour, and Artwork. When the group turned their focus towards abstraction, Flight left them in order to pursue his interest in linocut. He taught linocut at the Grosvenor School of Modern Art between 1926 and 1930, and wrote several books on the subject, starting with Lino-Cuts in 1927. Lino-Cuts became the standard manual for artists and teachers, and was the first textbook of it’s kind. He worked in this medium with Edith Lawrence until his death in 1955
Many of his works were bought by the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and exhibited widely abroad. In Painters of England (Medici Society, 1934), S.C.Kaines wrote, “Flight is the only true Futurist that this country has produced”.
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