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William Gear: Into the Sixties - Redfern Gallery

William Gear, Red Landscape Structure, 1963.

Exhibition preview

AN EXHIBITION entitled William Gear: Into the Sixties will be on display at the Redfern Gallery from September 6 to October 6, 2011.

An acclaimed proponent of the avant-garde, this exhibition celebrates the work of William Gear during his most critical decade.

William Gear RA (1915 – 1997) was born in Fife, Scotland, the son of a coal miner. He studied at Edinburgh College of Art (1932 – 1936), later winning a scholarship which took him across Europe, ending in Paris where he studied with Fernand Leger.

Few British painters have played an active role in the modern abstract movement of post-war Europe but Gear is a crucial exception; in Paris he became affiliated with the COBRA group, Europe’s most important avant-garde movement in the mid-twentieth century.

International exhibitions followed, including a shared exhibition in 1949 with Jackson Pollock at the Betty Parsons Gallery, New York.

The sixties was a defining decade for Gear; he had returned to Britain and spent the 1950s contributing to the phenominal growth of British abstraction, but now he began to achieve recognition for his bold, modern paintings.

In 1960, his paintings were among the first abstract works accepted into the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, a decision which divided critical opinion. Two works were acquired for the Tate collection in 1961, and his first museum retrospective followed in 1962.

In his paintings, he continued to break new ground, challenging convention with his openness to experimentation and vigorous mark making. A passionate colourist, his palette grew more strident with the introduction of chrome yellow and vivid reds contrasting powerfully with grey, blue and black.

Blending paintings of contemporary critical acclaim with never before seen work, this exhibition demonstrates the inventiveness and industry of an artist who was getting firmly into his stride.

Admission: Free.

Times: Monday to Friday 11am to 5.30pm, Saturday 11am to 2pm.

Redfern Gallery, 20 Cork Street, London, W1S 3HL

Tel: 020 7734 1732/0578