John Minton, Jamaican Village (detail), 1951, Oil on canvas, private collection Photograph © 2016 Christie's Images Limited/ Bridgeman Images © Royal College of Art
A major exhibition marking the centenary of the birth of British artist John Minton, a bohemian figure in London during the 1940s and 50s who counted Michael Ayrton, Lucian Freud and Keith Vaughan amongst his friends. The exhibition explores the artist’s achievements far beyond his reputation as a leading post-war illustrator and influential tutor.
It spans evocative wartime landscapes firmly rooted in the Neo-Romantic tradition; exotic subject matter inspired by international travel in the Mediterranean and Caribbean; sensitive portraits and figure studies of young men, reflecting Minton’s experience as a leading gay artist of the time; striking illustrations for posters and books including Elizabeth David’s famous Mediterranean cookery titles; and ambitious paintings exploring historic and current events, created as Minton grappled with an increasingly abstract art world before his tragic suicide, aged just 39.
Curated by Simon Martin, Director at Pallant House Gallery, and Frances Spalding, Minton’s biographer.