Jack Smith, ‘Figure in a Room I’ 1959
Jack Smith
Figure in a Room I 1959
Tate
© The estate of Jack Smith

The Beaux Arts Gallery in London was run by the painter Helen Lessore from 1951–65. (There is no connection with the present London gallery of the same name). She made it a major venue for contemporary realist painting.

From 1952–4 she gave solo exhibitions to four young realist painters John Bratby, Derrick Greaves, Edward Middleditch and Jack Smith, who had all known each other at the Royal College of Art. They became known as the Beaux Arts Quartet, and from December 1954, were celebrated as the Kitchen Sink painters, a term referring to their often grittily domestic subject matter. In 1956 the Beaux Arts Quartet were selected to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale, together with Ivon Hitchens and Lynn Chadwick.