Michael Ayrton

Michael Ayrton (1921-1975)

was a significant sculptor, painter and printmaker working in the Post War period. He was born in London and studied art at Heatherley’s and St John’s Wood Schools of Art. Before World War II he lived in Paris where he shared a studio with fellow English artist John Minton, with whom he had a joint exhibition at the Leicester Galleries in 1942. During the war Ayrton taught drawing and theatre design at Camberwell School of Art and was later an art critic for the Spectator magazine. In the mid 1940s Ayrton’s work developed a neo-romantic vein showing the influence of other contemporary English artists such as Graham Sutherland. Later he became increasingly interested in sculpture, important themes in his work being the minotaur, the maze, the skull, and legendary figures such as Daedelus. Michael Ayrton’s work is represented in many public collections, including the Tate Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Retrospective exhibitions were held at the Whitechapel Art Gallery 1955 and at Agnews 1984. He lived in Essex.

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