Unit One

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Unit One was a British grouping of Modernist artists founded by Paul Nash. The group included painters, sculptors and architects, and was active from 1933 to 1935. It held one exhibition, which began at the Mayor Gallery in Cork Street, London, and then went on an extended tour, closing in Belfast in 1935. A book by Herbert Read, Unit One: the modern movement in English painting, sculpture, and architecture,[1] was published at the time of the exhibition. Despite its brief period of activity, the group is regarded as influential in establishing the pre-eminence of London as a centre of modernist and abstract art and architecture in the mid-1930s.

The artists of the group were: the architects Wells Coates and Colin Lucas; the painters John Armstrong, John Bigge, Edward Burra, Frances Hodgkins, Paul Nash, Ben Nicholson and Edward Wadsworth; and the sculptors Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. Frances Hodgkins soon left the group and was replaced by Tristram Hillier.[citation needed]

The artists planned the group at meetings held at the Mayor Gallery; Paul Nash announced its creation in a letter to The Times on 12 June 1933.[2]


  1. ^ Herbert Read (ed.) (1934) Unit One: the modern movement in English architecture, painting and sculpture. London: Cassell.
  2. ^ Andrew Causey, Unit One (act. 1933–1935). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press; online edition, Sept 2012. Accessed April 2013.