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Victor Pasmore: Towards a New Reality

[ Exhibition )

Abstract artwork by Victor Pasmore of spirals and shapes in green, blue, violet and gold

Victor Pasmore, Spiral Motif in Green, Violet, Blue and Gold: The Coast of the Inland Sea, 1950, oil on canvas, 81.3 x 100.3 cm, Tate. Purchased 1953

In the late 1940s, figurative British artist Victor Pasmore (1908–1998) reinvented himself as an exponent of abstract art.

This major exhibition focused for the first time on this radical change of direction in the artist’s career. Through 50 works, it explored the progression of Pasmore’s output between the 1930s and mid-1960s, particularly his experimentation in a new pictorial language and representation of reality.

Working under the private patronage of Kenneth Clark, Director of the National Gallery, Pasmore was quickly established in the late 1930s and early 1940s as a painter of lyrical landscapes, figures and still-life studies. Pasmore was devoted to his art and teaching at the Euston Road School.

From the artist’s own writings and those of his critics and contemporaries, a fascinating picture emerges of the years from the late 1940s to the early 1950s when landscapes incorporating suggestive formal structures led to his first fully abstract paintings and thereafter to a series of authoritative collages, spiral paintings, and constructed reliefs made from pre-formed industrial materials.

‘Victor Pasmore: Towards a New Reality’ was curated by independent curator Anne Goodchild with Neil Walker, Head of Visual Arts Programming at Djanogly Gallery. The exhibition toured from the Djanogly Gallery, Nottingham and was a partnership project between the Djanogly Gallery and Pallant House Gallery.

An illustrated book published by Lund Humphries in association with the Djanogly Gallery accompanied the exhibition, including essays by Anne Goodchild, Alastair Grieve and Elena Crippa. Available to buy from Pallant Bookshop.

What the press said

[A] formidable exhibition that must be seen.

John Bird, The Big Issue

In this exemplary show at Pallant House Gallery, excellently and unobtrusively curated by Anne Goodchild of the Djangoly Gallery, Nottingham, Pasmore’s evolution is set out chronologically.

Robin Greenwood,

This visually beautiful exhibition is a must.

Rupert Toovey, Chichester Observer

Want to know more?

If you’re conducting research into this artist or another aspect of Modern British art and would like to use our library and archive, please contact Sarah Norris, Collections Manager on

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