JOHN PLUMB

Biography

(1927-2008, Luton, England)

John Plumb was an English abstract painter who emerged in Britain after World War II. He was represented in the American Institute of Architects’ abstract exhibitions of 1953 and 1957, and in the Situation exhibitions in 1960 and 1961, alongside Bridget Riley, William Turnbull, Robyn Denny, and other notable artists. At that time, Plumb was making bold, handsome, and colorful compositions, characterized by hard-edged, intense, single-hued shapes and an immaculately crafted finish, produced by methods that were partly improvisational. Plumb’s works reflected his admiration for American Color Field painting and hard-edge painting. In the mid-1960s Plumb produced paintings with large fields of a single color; with narrow, strips on the edge of different colors intended to optically enhance the emotional impact of the central, major, and usually intense hue.

Solo Exhibitions
2002 The Atkinson Gallery, Millfield, Street, Somerset, UK
1997 Burton Art Gallery, Bideford, Devon; Landscape to Abstraction – 1985 to 1997 and Hatherleigh Festival, Devon, UK
1995 Plough Arts Centre, Torrington, Devon, UK
1993 Bath Contemporary Art Fair with Artwenty, UK
1973 Commonwealth Arts Centre Gallery, London, UK
1970 London Arts Gallery, London, UK
1968 Axiom Gallery, London, UK
1967 Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, UK
1966 Galerie Le Zodiaque, Brussels and Axiom Gallery, London, UK
1965 Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, UK
1964 Gallerie Muller, Stuttgart and Marlborough New London Gallery, London, UK
1961 Molton Gallery, London, UK
1959 New Vision Centre Gallery, London, UK
1957 Gallery One, London; New Vision Centre Gallery, London, UK

Group Exhibitions
2005 British Abstract and Constructed Art 56/66 – JHW Fine Art & Tadema Gallery, London, UK
2005 Metamorphosis, British Art of the Sixties, Museum of Contemporary Art, Andros, Greece
2004 Art & the 60s: This Was Tomorrow, survey exhibition at Tate Britain, London, UK
2002 Tate Unseen, an exhibition of work by living artists from the Tate collection, at The Gallery, Lincoln
2002 Hydrastructure – What it is John, owned by the Tate, from 4 to 18 February at Tate Britain to celebrate the artist’s 75th birthday
2000 The Discerning Eye Exhibition, The Mall Galleries, London, SW1 – at the invitation of the critic Frank Whitford, UK
1999 Pictures to Live With, The Millinery Works, Islington, London, UK
1998 British Art 1945-1965, England & Co. Gallery, London, UK
1996 Westward Ho! Art Society, Burton Art Gallery, Bideford, UK
1994 Plough Arts Centre, Torrington, Devon, Westward Ho! Art Society, Burton Art Gallery, Bideford, UK
1993 The Sixties Art Scene in London, Barbican Gallery, London; Post-War British Abstraction, Redfern, UK Gallery, London; The 1960s – England & Co Gallery, London; The Collage Show, England & Co Gallery, London; Art Expo, Budapest, Hungary
1992 Summer Exhibition, New Art Centre, Knightsbridge, London; British Abstract Art of the 50s and 60s, Belgrave Gallery, London, UK
1991 Water’s Edge, Bohun Gallery, Henley-on-Thames; Art Fair 1991, Royal College of Art, London
1990 Art 90, Olympia, London, UK
1988 Artists by Themselves, Bohun Gallery, Henley-on-Thames; Britain’s Painters, 1988, The Mall Galleries, London; Inaugural Exhibition, Caxton House Gallery, Tenterden, UK
1984 New Vision 1956-66, Bede Gallery, Jarrow, Tyne and Wear; and London, UK
1983 Three Decades of Artists from Inner London Art Schools, Royal Academy Diploma Galleries
1977 Jubilee Exhibition of British Painting 1952-1977, Royal Academy, London, UK
1976 Colour, Southern Arts touring exhibition; House of Cards, JPL Fine Art Ltd Gallery, Londo
1974 British Painting 1974, Hayward Gallery, London; John Moores Exhibition 9, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; Fourth British International Print Biennale, Bradford, UK
1971 Drawings of Six Artists, Bolzano, Italy
1970 Prater Screenprints, Hayward Gallery, London, UK
1968 Transatlantic Graphics, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Camden ArtsCentre, London, UK
1967 9th Mainichi International Art Exhibition, Tokyo Biennale; Six Invited Artists, Scottish Society of Artists, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, UK
1966 Contemporary British Art, Bradford City Art Gallery; New Forms of Shape and Colour, Stedlijk Museum, Amsterdam – and into 1967 touring West Germany; Metamorphosis, Figure into Abstract – The Sir Alfred Herbert Centenary Exhibition, Coventry, UK
1965 Contemporary British Art, Bradford City Art Gallery; Signale, Kunstalle, Basle, Switzerland; and Studio F, Ulm, West Germany
1964 British Painting of Today, Kunstverein, Dusseldorf, West Germany; Carnegie International, Pittsburg, USA; Sammlung La Peau de l’Ours, Kunsthalle, Basle, Switzerland; Contemporary British Painting and Sculpture, Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo, USA
1963 Seven Young English Painters, Kunsthalle, Basle,Switzerland; British Painting in the Sixties, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; Tredicesimo premio Lissone, Lissone and Milan, Italy; Gallery One Ten Years, London, UK
1962 Hoyland, Plumb, Stroud, Turnbull, Marlborough New London Gallery, London; British Art Today, San Francisco; Dallas; Santa Barbara, USA
1961 New London Situation, Marlborough New London Gallery, London; New Painting in England, Leverkusen Museum, West Germany; Mural for International Union of Architects Congress, South Bank, London, UK
1960 Situation, RBA Galleries, London, UK
1950 The Observer Exhibition Portraits of Children at the RWS Galleries, London, UK
1948 The New English Art Club, 101st exhibition at the RBA Galleries, London, UK

Public Collections
Tate Gallery, London, UK
The Arts Council, London, UK
Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne, UK
The British Council, Manchester, UK
Contemporary Art Society, London, UK
Aberdeen City Art Gallery, Aberdeen, UK
Kunstverein, Dusseldorf, Germany
Hamilton City Art Gallery, Canada
Leverkusen Museum, Germany
Société de la Peau de L’Ours, BasEL, Switzerland
Musée La Chaux du Fonds, Switzerland
Allende Museum, Chile
Dillington House, Ilminster, UK

Education
1952-55   Central School of Art and Design, London, UK
1948-50   Byam Shaw School, London, UK
1942-45    Luton School of Art, Luton, UK

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