WILSON, Frank Avray

Frank Avray Wilson - No. 4

Artist Biography


Frank Avray Wilson was born in Mauritius and trained as a scientist, gaining a master’s degree in biology at Cambridge. However, he turned to art, which he studied in Norway and France. In 1956 Wilson helped form the New Vision Centre Gallery, a showplace for abstract and other modern art. He produced some of the most dynamic abstracts of the post-war period in Britain. His work ranged over spiky linear compositions, through others more spare and geometric towards a mature style that comprised images both disciplined and energetic.

Wilson sought “to create a synthetic vitality, more living than life, the means of supplying our anti-vital, anti-human society with intense symbols”. His scientific background was of key importance in understanding his approach to painting, which he expounded in four books. London-based, he had a first solo show at Obelisk Gallery in 1954 and later showed at Leicester Galleries, Redfern Gallery, the Royal Academy and Austin/Desmond Fine Art amongst others. In 2003 Whitford Fine Art held a show entitled ‘Frank Avray Wilson: Early Works’.

Wilson was represented by the Redfern Gallery and was included in Redfern’s 50th anniversary show 1957-2007 in June/July 07. His work is held in the United States by the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburg and Cleveland Museum of Modern Art in Ohio. Public collections in the UK include the Arts Council and galleries in Durham, Leeds, Leicester, Swansea and Wakefield.

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