Artist biography

John ARMSTRONG b. 1893

Painter of imaginative subjects, designer of film and stage sets, mural painter and book illustrator. Born 14 November 1893 at Hastings, Sussex. Studied at St John's College, Oxford, 1912–13, and at St John's Wood School of Art 1913–14. Served in the Royal Field Artillery 1914–19 and returned to St John's Wood School for a short period after the war. First one-man exhibition at the Leicester Galleries 1928. Member of Unit One 1933, and his work then began to be Surrealist in character. Painted murals for the ceiling of Bristol Council Chamber 1956 and Shell Mex House. His theatrical décor includes designs for Riverside Nights, Macbeth and Measure for Measure (Old Vic); Magic Flute (Sadler's Wells Opera Company); the ballet Facade; and films produced by Sir Alexander Korda: Henry VIII, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Rembrandt, etc. Official War Artist 1940–5. Lives in London.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I