BEANLAND, Frank

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ARTIST BIOGRAPHY:
Frank Beanland
1936-

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.

 

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BLAKESTON, Oswell

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1907-1985

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.

 

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BORNFRIEND, Jacob

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Jacob Bornfriend

1904-1976

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.

 

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BOWEN, Denis

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Denis Bowen

1921-2006

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.

 

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FARMER, Bernard

Bernard Farmer- abstract '63b

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY:

Bernard Farmer
1919-2002

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.

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LANZI, Francois

Francois Lanzi - Into the Blue

Francois Lanzi

1916-1988
Francois Lanzi was born in Corsica and studied art in Paris under Guillot de Raffaillac. A prisoner of war from 1940-45, he came to live in the UK in 1954 and exhibited at a number of London Galleries including Redfern Gallery 1957, Royal Society of British Artists Gallery 1959 & 1960, Savage Gallery 1961 and Royal Academy 1965. Lanzi also had a number of exhibitions at the Artists International Association (AIA) in Soho, notably a solo exhibition in April-May 1967. In addition he showed in the provinces, including Stone Gallery at Newcastle in 1961. A promising career was stymied by Lanzi becoming a virtual recluse from the 1960s, although he continued to paint and produce collages throughout his life at his Chiddingfold, Surrey home. A major retrospective was held in 1994 at The Gallery in Woking. Lanzi’s work was in the ICI collection and is in a number of private collections in Britain, France and the United States.

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MENDEZ, Theo

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Theo Mendez

1934-1997

Theo Mendez was an artist in oil, acrylic and collage who was born in and lived in London. He studied at Camberwell School of Art, 1950-7, and at London University 1957-8. Teachers included Martin Bloch and Michael Rothenstein. Mendez taught at Camberwell 1958-84, becoming head of textiles in 1976, before retiring to paint full-time. He took part in group shows at Redfern Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, Bear Lane Gallery in Oxford and Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol, and in the 1972 and 1979 John Moores Liverpool Exhibitions. Retrospectives included Duncan Campbell Fine Art in 2002, four solo shows at Highgate Fine Art and an exhibition of his early oils at Whitfield Fine Art, London in 2010. Museum of London holds his work.

Mendez frequently visited Paris, soaking up the atmosphere in cafes and getting inspiration for new paintings and collages and a trip to New York in 1980 added breadth to his vision. In 1990 Mendez wrote about his painting “It is not representational or literal .. but sometimes symbolic of an event or place witnessed, felt or experienced … a moment in time. Each work must ultimately stand by itself without being part of a series or having a title or clue as to its origin. I love the variety of the medium, the spreading of colour and the interaction of colour and colour areas …sometimes the work comes almost directly via music, to which I listen constantly – several hours every day, like food and drink. It is essential if I achieve anything at all, it has, for me, to stand lasting contemplation”.

 

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ORGAN, Bryan

Bryan Organ - Bee

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY:
Bryan Organ
1935-

Bryan Organ was born in Leicester and studied at Loughborough College of Art 1952-5, then the Royal Academy Schools 1955-9. His first one-man show was at Leicester Museum and Art Gallery in 1959 but from 1967 he had a series of solo exhibitions at Redfern Gallery, London. He also had solo shows in New York, Cologne, Sao Paulo and Turin. Organ became known as a fine wildlife artist and a notable portrait painter – his painting of Diana Princess of Wales, in particular, was highly regarded. His work is in many public collections in Britain and elsewhere, including the Tate Gallery, National Portrait Gallery and Whitworth Art Gallery Manchester.

 

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OTTESEN, Frederik Lund

Frederick Lund Ottesen - abstract gouache

Frederik Lund Ottesen

1913-1975

Frederik Lund Ottesen was born in the United States and studied at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art before joining Braque’s Atelier in Paris in 1938. He exhibited at the Galerie des Quatre Chemins and, after war service, returned to Paris. He became friends with Hans Hartung and, influenced by him, turned to abstraction and showed extensively throughout Europe in the 1950s and 1960s. He was affiliated with the prestigious Galerie Coard in Paris and Downtown Gallery in New York and had a first UK solo show at the Leicester Galleries, London in 1966. He also showed at Blomquist Gallery, Oslo and Galeries Tedesco and Quatre Chemins in Paris. Ottesen’s work is held by Syracuse Gallery, USA and Musee National d’ Arte Modern in Paris.

 

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SAUTER, Rudolf

Rudolf Sauter - Cloud formation

Rudolf Sauter

1895-1977

Rudolf Helmut Sauter (often known as R H Sauter) was a painter, printmaker, illustrator and poet, son of the artist George Sauter. He was educated at Harrow School, studying art in London and Munich, his father having come from Bavaria. Sauter had strong literary interests, being a member of the writers’ club PEN; he illustrated a definitive edition of works by his uncle John Galsworthy. Sauter showed at the Royal Academy, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, Pastel Society, in the provinces, at the Paris Salon where he gained an Hon. Mention, and widely in the United States. Had one-man shows in London and New York. Although Sauter’s work is mainly figurative, in later life he did a series of abstracts. Many of Sauter’s paintings were destroyed by a fire in the 1980s but National Portrait Gallery, Government Art Collection, Royal Watercolour Association and Ferens Art Gallery in Hull hold his work. Cornelia Parker chose a 1935 Sauter portrait as part of her hang of the Government Art Collection at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 2011.

 

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