John Wells born 1907
Brimstone Moth Variation 1960
Oil on hardboard 1219 x 760 (48 x 30)
Inscribed on back '30 x 48' and, on three areas of white paint: 'John Wells 1960', 'Brimstone Moth Variation', 'Anchor Studio. Trewarveneth Street. NEWLYN. W. CORNWALL'
Purchased from Waddington Galleries (Knapping Fund) 1960
Brimstone Moth Variation belongs to a group of works from the end of the 1950s, shown in Wells's first exhibition at the Waddington Galleries in 1960, in which he experimented with a looser and thicker painting style. Wells's desire for a more painterly technique reflects the interest in Tachism and Abstract Expressionism that had been shown by many of his close friends, Peter Lanyon, Patrick Heron and Bryan Wynter for example. There were strong connections at that time between St Ives and American artists and, in 1959, Wells had met the critic Clement Greenberg while he was staying in Cornwall…