Note: Hunt was an English watercolourist, printmaker, poet and editor born 1896 died London 1940. Studied at the Slade School of Art. He was a partner of Herbert Wauthier in F. Osborne & Co. Ltd, specialising in designing memorial tablets recording those who died in the First World War. It is possible that he was also Wauthier’s partner inlife. Hunt, however, is best known for his bookplates for both British and American patrons, which he had started to make in 1915. These included figures in the literary world, ministers of the church, a philatelist, a general and a Liberal politician. Hunt was the Secretary and Treasurer of the English Bookplate Society, and in 1925 he succeeded James Guthrie as the editor of The Bookplate, completely changing its typography to a style indebted to that of Blast. He published an article on the Irish artist, Jack B. Yeats. In 1924 Hunt showed 17 works at the 9th annual exhibition of contemporary bookplates in the National Arts Club in New York. He had a one man exhibition at the Mayor Gallery in 1925 and exhibited a watercolour with the London Group in 1926, as well as showing at The Daily Express’s Young Artists exhibition in 1927. He was the founding editor of the avant – garde journal, Ray (1926-27), in which he adopted a similar typography to that in The Bookplate. The lay out in both may be dependent on Schwitters’ Merz. Ray only lasted for two issues, but it was much the most advanced British visual arts periodical of the period, containing short pieces, including poems, written by Kurt Schwitters, Herwarth Walden, Michel Seuphor, Gertude Stein and Theo van Doesburg, as well as illustrations of works by Malevich, El Lissitzky, Kandinsky, Gabo, Mies van der Rohe, De Chirico, Moholy- Nagy, Gleizes, Dix, Van Doesburg and Ben Nicholson. Hunt was one of the very few British artists whose work was illustrated in Der Sturm and in Der Querschnitt. Between 1926 and 1932 he was a member of the Seven and Five Society, with whom he exhibited in 1926 and in 1931. It is likely that his fellow members valued him more highly for his contacts with and knowledge of advanced continental artists and journals than for his paintings and prints. His work was figurative and often homoerotic, in style much closer to continental than to British art, particularly to Belgian and French drawing and painting. At times it approached the styles of Jean – Michel Folon, Victor Servranckx, and Floris Jespers. One of Hunt’s paintings was deeply influenced by Duchamp’s Nude descending a staircase. Occasionally, he showed knowledge of Vorticism and of Wyndham Lewis’ portraiture of the 1920s. Hunt seems to have had a penchant for pseudonyms. P. Capeli, whose Surrealist collages much indebted to Ernst, appeared in both The Bookplate and in Ray under his editorship, was almost certainly one alias, and A. Whiteflower another. Hunt expressed particular enthusiasm for Picabia and Picasso. The latter’s ‘neo-classical’ drawings influenced the Englishman’s drawings. Hunt was also a friend of the experimental filmmaker, Len Lye. His poetry was Dadaist and he contributed to the Parisian journals Transition, II, 1927 and Tambour, VIII, 1930, to the American journal Blues, VII, 1929, and to the London journal Seed, I, 1933. Hunt seems to have concentrated on writing in the last decade of his life. The paucity of surviving works, other than prints, may be explained if the bomb which fell on his house in 1940 killing him also destroyed the contents of his studio.
This is an exceptionally rare work by an important early English modernist.