"The vorticists did not have many members; nor did the movement last long, because of unfortunate timing - it formed in 1914 as Europe hurtled towards war. By 1918 there was not much appetite for dogmatic groups such as theirs.
Nevertheless, the group holds an important place in 20th-century British art history.
'They were the first abstract modernist group in Britain,' said Stephens. 'It inevitably comes out of the revolution of cubism, but then, so does everything in the 20th century.'
They were part of a maelstrom of new, aggressive art 'ism' movements, not least the one practised by the Italian futurists, who were, in Lewis's eyes, the bad guys.
Stephens said: 'Unlike the futurists, who celebrate the energy of the machine and actual war as a purging force, the vorticists were engaged in more universal ideas of identity, time and movement in a philosophical sense.'"
(Mark Brown, 13 June 2011, The Guardian)
"For twenty-seven years we Futurists have rebelled against the branding of war as antiaesthetic.. . . Accordingly we state: ... War is beautiful because it establishes man's dominion over the subjugated machinery by means of gas masks, terrifying megaphones, flame throwers, and small tanks. War is beautiful because it initiates the dreamt-of metalization of the human body. War is beautiful because it enriches a flowering meadow with the fiery orchids of machine guns. War is beautiful because it combines the gunfire, the cannonades, the cease-fire, the scents, and the stench of putrefaction into a symphony. War is beautiful because it creates new architecture, like that of the big tanks, the geometrical formation flights, the smoke spirals from burning villages, and many others. . . . Poets and artists of Futurism! . . . remember these principles of an aesthetics of war so that your struggle for a new literature and a new graphic art ... may be illumined by them!"
(Walter Benjamin p.241-42.)
[Says Marinetti in his manifesto on the Ethiopian colonial war.]
Fig.1 "Funeral of the Anarchist Galli" by Carlo Carrą, 1911 in the Moma