Victor Pasmore

Victor Pasmore, CH, RA (1908-1998)

was an abstract painter and printmaker, collagist and maker of constructions, a significant figure in the history of 20th century art in Britain. He was born at Chelsham in Surrey and was largely self-taught in art, apart from part time study at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, working from 1927 in local government in London. Pasmore experimented with abstraction in the early 1930s and showed his work with the London Artists’ Association and the London Group from 1931. With subsequent encouragement from Sir Kenneth Clark he began painting full time and in 1938 was one of the founders of the Euston Road School along with Coldstream, Rogers and Bell. During this period he was a representational painter noted for landscapes, still life and figure subjects. Pasmore taught at Camberwell School of Art 1943-49 and was visiting professor at the Central School 1949-53. In about 1948 he began to move away from figurative art and his work became increasingly abstract. During the 1950s he began to gain recognition both at home and abroad and retrospective shows were held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts 1954, Cambridge Arts Council Gallery 1955, and the Tate Gallery 1965. He also showed at the Venice Biennale in 1960. A solo British Council travelling show was held in 1980 as was a special display at the Tate Gallery. In 1999 a memorial retrospective was held at Marlborough Fine Art. His work is held in many important public and private collections in the UK and overseas. He was appointed a Companion of Honour in 1981 and elected to the Royal Academy in 1984.

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