Artist biography

Victor PASMORE b. 1908

Abstract artist, producing paintings, collages and constructions; previously a representational painter of landscapes, still life and figures. Born 3 December 1908 at Chelsham, Surrey. Worked at County Hall, London, 1927–37, but attended evening classes at the Central School under A.S. Hartrick. Exhibited with the London Group from 1930; member 1934. Member of the London Artists' Association 1932, holding his first one-man exhibition with them 1933. Exhibited representational pictures with the ‘Objective Abstractions’ group, Zwemmer Gallery 1934. Opened a teaching studio with Claude Rogers in Fitzroy Street 1937; later the same year this moved to become the Euston Road School with William Coldstream and Graham Bell; it helped to revive an interest in naturalism under the example of the Impressionists 1937–9. Turned to non-representational painting 1947–8 and later to constructions, etc. Retrospective exhibitions at the I.C.A. 1954, Cambridge (Arts Council Gallery) 1955, the Venice Biennale 1960, Belgrade, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Scandinavia 1961, etc. Head of the Painting Department of Durham University at Newcastle from 1954. Architectural designer for the new town of Peterlee, County Durham, from 1956. Collaborated with Ernö Goldfinger and Helen Phillips on an exhibit for This is Tomorrow at the Whitechapel Art Gallery 1956, and with Richard Hamilton and Lawrence Alloway on ‘An Exhibit’ shown at Newcastle and the I.C.A. 1957. Trustee of the Tate Gallery from 1963.

Lit: Clive Bell, Victor Pasmore, 1945; David Sylvester, ‘Victor Pasmore’ in Britain Today, December 1950; Victor Pasmore, ‘The Artist Speaks’ in Art News and Review, 24 February 1951; Patrick Heron, The Changing Forms of Art, 1955, pp.191–7; Anton Ehrenzweig, ‘Victor Pasmore's Architectural Constructions’ in Quadrum, 4, 1957, pp.51–60; Alan Bowness, ‘The Paintings and Constructions of Victor Pasmore’ in Burlington Magazine, CII, 1960, pp.198–205.

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