John Potvin
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Of art and irises
Cedric Morris, Arthur Lett-Haines and the decorative ideal
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The young Cedric Morris moved to Paris where, in 1914, he attended the Academie Delacluse located in the centre of bohemian life in Montparnasse. This chapter explores Cedric Morris's unique and divergent modernism, which began while in Paris; a modernism that cavorted with abandon with the decorative, long held as anathema to the manly heroism modernist critics and historians have honoured and privileged and continue to do. Arthur Lett-Haines believed firmly in Morris's abilities and declared 'that next to Matisse, Cedric was the finest colourist' of the twentieth century. The chapter is concerned with the distance (both emotional and physical) that develops, rather than simply and only the proximity that flourishes in a sustained intimate relationship. It suggests that there are other sides to relationships, ones that can teach us much, perhaps even more about the material and visual cultures of bachelors of a different sort.

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