SCHETTINI, Ulrico

Ulrico Schetttini - Torso 4

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY:

Ulrico Schettini
1932-

Ulrico Schettini was born in Cosenza, in the Italian Marches. After studying art at Pesaro, Paris and Rome he settled in England in 1958. An academically-inclined artist, during the 1960s and early 1970s he lectured at Hull College of Arts and Crafts, Carlisle College of Art and Design, Hornsea College of Art, the City Literary Institute and King’ College London. He worked in New York in 1964 and from 1966-71 lectured annually in America under the auspices of the Association of American Colleges. Schettini’s early work was fiercely modernist, being “emotionally powerful” and displaying a chromatic austerity that “blends a basic outline of form with a free graphic improvisation within that form” (Art News and Review Jan 1959). Critics at the time equated his art with modern jazz movements. From the mid-1960s Schettini began producing more figurative work, in a strong expressive, dark style.

Schettini first solo exhibition was at the experimental New Vision Gallery in London in 1958, followed by one in Newcastle. He then exhibited in London at the Drian Gallery in 1959 and the Institute for Contemporary Art in 1961. He had group shows in London, Paris and Milan and then had a major retrospective exhibition at the Municipal Art Gallery, Hull in 1966 which attracted international attention. About this time, though, despite the acclaim, he destroyed many works and disappeared to Italy to find himself again as an artist. He took ‘Montefiore’ as his professional name in homage to two potters he worked with there. A large exhibition of his subsequent work, which now included many ancient and archaeological influences, was given at the Café Royal, London in 1972 and a still more important exhibition at the Palazzo della Permanente, Milan in 1974. Wildensteins in New York also sold his work.

Montefiore moved back to Italy in the 1970s and continues to exhibit there. His work underwent another dramatic shift in the 1980s. He turned to a wider variety of media – he is currently working on stained glass, metals and ceramics as well as painting – and shifted entirely to representational art. The main motive behind this was religious and he now mainly concentrates on large-scale commissions for Catholic institutions in Peru, Spain and Italy. He taught at the Academy of Fine Arts at Brera, Milan. Schettini’s work is held by Northwestern College, Orange City in Indiana and California University of Pennsylvania, South Australia House, London and other public collections.

 

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SMITH, Jack

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Jack Smith

1928-2011

Jack Smith was born in Sheffield, before studying at St Martin’s School of Art 1948-50, Royal College of Art 1950-3 and then settling in London. He showed at Beaux Arts from 1953, initially painting in a neo-realist ‘Kitchen Sink’ style. But from the mid-1950s he became more interested in the play of light on shapes and eventually became a meticulous abstractionist. Smith taught at various colleges and in 1956 won first prize at the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition, by which time he was also showing in the United States. Major exhibitions included retrospectives at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1959 and Serpentine Gallery 1978. In more recent years Smith was represented by Flowers East Gallery in London. The Tate Gallery, Arts Council, British Council and many provincial and foreign galleries hold his work.

 

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SPENDER, Humphrey

Humphrey Spender

1910-2005

Humphrey Spender, brother of poet Stephen Spender, was a designer and renowned photographer on Mass Observation as well as an accomplished artist. London-born but based in New Malden in Essex in later years, Spender initially trained as an architect before turning to photography, design and art. He said he hoped that his paintings, many powerful but impressionistic depictions of marshlands and rivers in Essex, “might make people see differently”. As well as numerous mixed shows, Spender had solo painting exhibitions at the Redfern, Leicester Galleries and New Art Centre in London and at many provincial venues. Tate Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, Government Art Collection, British Council and many provincial galleries hold his work.

 

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STURGESS-LIEF, Christopher

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ARTIST BIOGRAPHY:
Christopher Sturgess-Lief

1937-2011

Chris Sturgess-Lief was a self-taught painter who created evocative and poetic pictures using a highly individual private symbolism. Adopted  as a baby, possibly from ethnic German parents in the Soviet Union, Sturgess-Lief was schooled at Sherborne, Dorset. After army service in Malaya, he then moved to London and began showing on the Hyde Park railings in the early 1960s. He was spotted by Victor Musgrave of Gallery One, who gave Sturgess-Lief a solo show in 1962. He also exhibited at Rye Art gallery in 1969 and took part in mixed shows at New Vision Centre, Leicester Galleries, Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol in 1963 and others in Japan and the United States.

 

His Red Painting was included in the Belgrave Gallery’s 1992 show British abstract art of the 1950s and 60s, and in 1997 Julian Hartnoll in St James’ put on a solo exhibition of his work.  A contemporary of the highly sought after Martin Bradley and Alan Davie, his work is comparable both in terms of style and quality.

 

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WILSON, Frank Avray

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ARTIST BIOGRAPHY:
Frank Avray Wilson
1914-2009

Frank Avray Wilson was born in Mauritius and trained as a scientist, gaining a master’s degree in biology at Cambridge before his strong interest in art led him to study painting in Norway and France. In 1956 Avray Wilson helped Denis Bowen found the New Vision Centre Gallery, a showplace for abstract and other modern art. Initially inspired by American Expressionism, Avray Wilson 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. Avray 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, Avray Wilson 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. He gained a strong reputation in Europe, notably in Belgium and in France where he also exhibited. He was represented for many years by the Redfern Gallery and was included in Redfern’s 50th anniversary show in 2007. Recent solo exhibitions in London have been given by Paisnel Gallery and Whitford Fine Art. Avray Wilson’s 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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