Frank Beanland

Frank Beanland was born in Bridlington, Yorkshire. A bold, colourful abstract artist, he attended Hull College of Art 1952-57, then Slade School of Fine Art 1959-61. A Boise travelling scholarship took him to Stockholm 1961-2. Beanland began showing in 1960 at Young Contemporaries then in mixed shows at Drian Galleries, London Group and Gimpel Fils. He settled for a while in the 1960s in Cornwall where he produced much of his best work.

Solo exhibitions include Smiths Galleries One in 1960 and Belgrave Galleries 1999. His work is held by a number of public collections including Leverhulme Trust and Slade School and the Lodz Museum in Poland.






Oswell Blakeston was a painter, writer, film maker and critic. A man of extraordinary talents, Blakeston’s family was of Austrian origin and he was born Henry Hasslacher. At age 16 he ran away from a bourgeois upbringing to become a conjuror’s assistant, a cinema organist and then a clapper boy with David Lean at Gaumont film studios. He began writing film criticism and, with Francis Brugiere, in the early 1930s he pioneered abstract films in Britain. As well as his painting and art criticism, Blakeston was also a novelist, playwright and poet with a “quick eye for the bizarre and the outrageous” according to his long-term partner and fellow artist Max Chapman.

Blakeston had over 40 solo shows, including Drian and Grabowski Galleries and New Vision Centre, and some 100 mixed shows. These included Leicester, Madden and Mercury Galleries. In 1981 he shared a show at Middlesborough Art Gallery with Max Chapman and in 1986 there was a memorial show at Camden Arts Centre. Victoria & Albert Museum and the Ulster Museum in Belfast hold his work, as do national galleries in Finland, Poland and Portugal.




Jacob Bornfriend


Jacob Bornfriend was born in Zborav in Slovakia and educated at the Academy of Fine Arts, Prague under Willi Nowak 1930-5. Bornfriend emigrated to England in 1939, settling in London. He had his first solo show at Roland, Browse & Delbanco, London in 1950 and in 1957 painted a large mural for Jew’s College, London. Initially painting still lives and landscapes, Bornfriend’s work – which exudes a quiet beauty – increasingly turned towards the abstract.

The Tate Gallery, Southampton City Art Gallery, Leeds Museum and Art Gallery, several colleges at Oxford and many galleries abroad hold his work. These include Museum of Bochum, Germany and Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand. Slovak capital Bratislava’s City Art Gallery gave him a retrospective in 2008 and Bornfriend’s work was included in a mixed exhibition at the London Jewish Museum of Art in 2009. Connaught-Brown showed Bornfriend’s work alongside two other émigré artists in 2013.



BOWEN, Denis

Denis Bowen


Denis Bowen was born in Kimberly, South Africa of Welsh parentage but left for England as a child. He studied at the Royal College of Art from 1946-50, where teachers included Rodrigo Moynihan, John Minton and Carel Weight. Bowen soon made his name as a leading experimental artist; in 1952 with other members of the ICA he founded the Free Painters’ Group and from 1956-66 he directed the New Vision Centre, initially with Frank Avray Wilson and Halima Nalecz. This became the focal point in London for work of advanced artists from Europe and elsewhere.

From 1969-1972 he taught at Victoria University, British Colombia and in later life he was a leading light in Celtic Vision which he co-founded in 1982. Bowen showed widely, at the Redfern Gallery and elsewhere, and major late career retrospectives included Belgrave Gallery, London in 2001, Blyth Gallery, Imperial College in 2002 and Rome Museum of Modern Art in 2006. His work is held by the Tate Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, British Museum and many regional collections in the UK. It is also in public collections in Australia, USA, Canada, Italy, Poland, Macedonia, Israel and elsewhere.




Roberto Caracciolo - untitled

Roberto Caracciolo


A successful abstract artist, Roberto Caracciolo was born in New York of Italian extraction and trained at New York Studio School. He now lives and works in Rome and also currently teaches at New York University, Florence. Caracciolo has taken part in numerous group shows across the United States and Europe. His main solo shows outside Italy include Janie C. Lee Gallery, Houston (1989), Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York (1990, 1991, 1993), Galerie Alessando Vivas, Paris (1995), Earl McGrath Gallery, New York (1998), Galerie Blancpain Stepczynski, Geneva (2000, 2004) and Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast (2004). Caracciolo is currently represented by the Barbara Behan Gallery in London and in January 2006 was short-listed for the inaugural and prestigious Sovereign European Art Prize. Caracciolo’s work is held by the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City and the Borroni Milano Collection – Italy’s premier modern art collection.




Enrico Cervelli - Composizione astratta Rosso e Oro


Enrico Cervelli

Italian artist Enrico Cervelli was a talented artist whose international success was cut short by an early death. He is also remembered for being Artistic Director on the 1954 Federico Fellini film La Strada. Cervelli had an impressive painting career in the 1950s and early1960s, with solo shows including Galleria Numero in Florence in 1955, Gallery O’Hana in London in 1959, Galleria Pogliani in Rome in 1961 and a retrospective at the Grosvenor Gallery, London in 1966. Mixed shows included Gallery One in London in 1958 and the ICA in London in 1960. There is some doubt about the date of death, with indications that Cervelli was alive when his work was being shown in Connecticut in 1967. The Estorick collection of Modern Italian Art holds his work.

A 1960 review by Michel Strauss in the art magazine The Burlington – of an exhibition of Cervelli’s work at London’s Savage Gallery – described the artwork as calligraphic transpositions of ancient propitiatory rites as presented by the peasants of the Abruzzi region. Cervelli was interpreting ancient rites and symbols in a very modern context. The review described his technique as watercolour, gouache, ink and gold leaf pressed down with sealing wax and Strauss, later to be head of Impressionist & Modern Art at Sotheby’s, said the combination of shapes and colours represented “the best of abstract traditions”.




COMBER, Melanie

Melanie Comber - Untitled


Melanie Comber

Melanie Comber studied at Wimbledon and then Chelsea Schools of Art 1990-1994. She was nominated for many awards during and after her time at college and had residencies at the Victoria and Albert Museum and in Rejkavik. Comber had group shows from 1993, most notably recently at the Royal Academy and Cat Street Gallery in Hong Kong, whilst her first solo show was 1995’s Elemental at The Blue Gallery. Fine Art Society, London has given her a series of solo shows in the last few years. Her work, abstractions sometimes teetering on the brink between two and three dimensions, frequently involved sand, natural pigments and other slightly unusual materials. Corporate collections holding her work include Scottish Widows, Hiscox, RBS and Deutschebank.




DAHMEN, Karl Friedrich

Karl Friedrich Dahmen - abstract

Karl Friedrich Dahmen


Karl Fred Dahmen was born in Stolberg and in the 1930s attended Aachen School of Applied Arts. After war service he briefly attended Dusseldorf Art Academy in 1945 and from 1951 spent much time in Paris, absorbing the influences there, before co-founding in 1952 the “New Aachen group”. He was to become one of Germany’s foremost exponents of Taschisme and Art Informel, working in paint, print and collage and from 1967-1981 was a professor at the Academy of Art in Munich. As an abstract artist and teacher Dahmen influenced a younger generation of artists such as Gunther Forg and his work was shown widely, including at group exhibitions in London, Paris and elsewhere. Dahmen’s estate is managed by Van Ham which in 2017 is planning a major touring exhibition to celebrate the centenary of his birth.




Georgi Daskaloff - Approache or Shades of Evening

Georgi Daskaloff


Georgi Daskaloff was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and attended the art school at Sofia University, graduating in 1949. He ‘defected’ to the West in 1960, living in Paris before moving on to New York. Daskaloff painted in the 1960s and 1970s in a pop-art influenced abstracted figurative style using bright colours. He showed widely, having solo exhibitions in Copenhagen, Brussels, New York and Geneva as well as at Galerie Jacques Massol in Paris in 1968 and London’s Ewan Philips Gallery in 1969. Later in his career he specialised more in lithography. Daskaloff’s work is held in a number of public collections including British Museum, Joslyn Memorial Gallery in Omaha and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.


FARMER, Bernard

Bernard Farmer- abstract '63b


Bernard Farmer

Bernard Farmer was born and lived in London. He studied at Chelsea Polytechnic School of Art and showed with London Group, New Vision Centre, St Martin’s Gallery and Artist International Association. Solo exhibitions included the AIA in 1956, Heal’s Gallery in 1963 and 1964 and Angela Flowers Gallery 1982. He also exhibited in the provinces and abroad. Farmer said that “the more simple I can make an image the better I like it … The less can always expand in the mind, whereas more either constricts or becomes too much”. Farmer was co-organiser with Malcolm Hughes of Directions-Connections at AIA Gallery 1961, and had work reproduced in Frank Avray Wilson’s Art as Understanding, 1963. The painter Adrian Heath was a strong advocate of his work. A Farmer painting was included at Bede Gallery, Jarrow’s 1984 retrospective assessing the New Vision Gallery’s influence.

The critic Peter Davies said “Bernard Farmer’s collages contain the accidental jaggedness and random expressiveness of the most free-form post-war abstract painting. A lyrical and open interaction between form and space creates rhythmic movement of a musical, even jazzy kind, achieving modern art’s frequently declared intention to create visual analogies with the abstract yet palpable language of music.” John Davies Fine Paintings helped reawaken interest in Farmer’s work by showing examples in a mixed exhibition at The Gallery in Cork Street in 2005. The Katharine House Gallery in Marlborough also incuded Farmer in its ‘Modern British Collages’ show in July 2007 and ‘Modern British Art’ exhibition in 2009. Arts Council and Contemporary Arts Society hold examples, as do private collections in USA, Italy, Norway and Cyprus as well as UK.