Artist biography

Fielding was born in Sheffield. He studied at Sheffield College of Art from 1950 to 1954, and the Royal College of Art from 1954 to 1957. He received an Abbey Minor Travelling Scholarship to Italy and France in 1958. He began participating in group exhibitions in 1954. In 1958 he held his first solo exhibition, at Hibbert Gallery, Sheffield. Other solo exhibitions were held at Rowan Gallery, London (1962, 1964), Sheffield University (1969), Consort Gallery, London (1974), St Paul's Gallery, Leeds (1980), Morley Gallery, London (1984), and other venues. A retrospective of his work was held at Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield in 1986. From 1969 to 1982 he taught at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design.

In common with many other painters of his generation, the experience of seeing Abstract Expressionist painting at the Tate Gallery in exhibitions held there in 1956 and 1959 was decisive and formative, leading to his subsequent conversion to painterly abstraction. From 1960 until the artist's early death in 1986, he remained committed to an approach to painting in which abstract form (albeit of a kind resonant with association), colour, drawing, and an emphasis on painterly brushwork are key elements.

Further reading:
Brian Fielding: New Paintings and Paintings 1960-1983, exhibition catalogue, Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield 1986

Terry Riggs
November 1997