The Directors of Marlborough are pleased to present Victor Pasmore: Lyrical, a virtual exhibition which will highlight the graphic work of the master British artist who played a key role in the development of abstract art in Britain in the 1940s and 1950s. The online exhibition will run in conjunction with the artists current painting exhibition Victor Pasmore: The Final Decades, which is the artists first in depth painting exhibition in the United States since his 1988 retrospective at the Yale Center for British Art followed by the Philips Collection in 1989.
This exhibition will present Pasmore’s graphic works, which the artist began developing during the renaissance of printmaking in the 1960s up until his death in 1998. By the 1960s, Pasmore’s geometry softened introducing curved lines and edges along with bright colors blossoming into lyrical abstract compositions. These changes were complimented by his relocation to Malta in 1966 where he resided until his death. His first retrospective was held at the ICA in London (1954), to be followed by numerous retrospectives including the Tate Retrospective in 1964.
Beginning in the 1947, the figurative painter Victor Pasmore (1908-1998) veered towards pure abstraction, anticipating this dramatic shift in twentieth-century art. Though his earliest interrogations of abstraction were categorized by the utilization of linear forms and collage, in 1952, Pasmore, drawing upon constructivist ideologies, fashioned works as three-dimensional wall-reliefs in wood and Perspex. In the 1960s the geometry softened, introducing curved lines and edges, and bright colors blossoming in the 1970s and later into lyrical abstract compositions of points, wandering lines and planes of bright colors against his habitual white backgrounds and even some drawn outlines of natural forms again towards the end of his life.
The prints are categorized as a synthetization of mathematics and geometrical forms, often juxtaposed with poetry written by the artist. The printmaking process served as a collaboration between Pasmore and the printer, with the artist drawing on the studio’s particular skills and developing images in conjunction with them. Victor Pasmore’s prints express a painterly quality with natural abstract shapes and curves. He viewed his works as essays in language of pure form in two dimensions which he found satisfying, meaningful and capable of an infinite variety of expression.
Retrospective exhibitions of Pasmore’s work were held in at the ICA, the Cambridge Arts Council Gallery, and he represented Britain at the 30th Venice Biennale in 1960, with an exhibition that toured to Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Bochum, Belgrade, Oslo and Copenhagen. In 1964 he was awarded the Carnegie Prize. He represented Britain again at the 8th Sao Paulo Biennial in 1965, toured to Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Lima and Santiago, in the same year as his retrospective at the Tate Gallery, London. Museum and gallery exhibitions proliferated across Europe and the USA, culminating in retrospectives at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, and the Phillips Collection, Washington D.C. and the Center for International Contemporary Arts, New York and the Serpentine Gallery, London.
Pasmore held positions as Director of Painting at Camberwell School of Art and Head of the Department of Painting at King’s College, Durham University, as well as lecturing at Harvard University. He was awarded Honorary degrees from the Royal College of Art and the University of Warwick and was appointed CBE in 1959. He became a Trustee of the Tate Gallery in 1963-4 and was elected a Royal Academician in 1983. Pasmore’s work can be found in major museums and public collections worldwide, including: Tate Britain (UK), Royal Academy of Arts (UK), Museum of Modern Art (USA), The Courtauld Institute of Art (UK), Scottish National Gallery (UK), The British Council (UK), Yale Center for British Art (USA), Albright-Knox Art Gallery (USA), Art Institute of Chicago (USA), Kröller-Müller Museum (EU), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (EU), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (EU), amongst others.
Please note prints are available to view in person by appointment only.