Wilfred Avery

1926 to 1962

Interior With Bucket and Jug 1954
Interior with Bucket and Jug 1954
Museums Sheffield
Wilfred grew up in Devon but moved to London in 1952 and exhibited with Helen Lessore at the Beaux Arts Gallery in a show called "Ten Young Artists". His first one-man exhibition was with Victor Musgrave at Gallery One in 1954.The work shown was mainly still-life and figure paintings with debts to Cezanne and early Picasso.

Man Undressing 1956
Figure Undressing 1956
Museums Sheffield
In 1956 a second exhibition at Gallery One extended the themes of his previous show but was more formalised. In the same year, with his brother Samuel Lock, he designed settings for the opening productions of the Oxford Playhouse Company including the world premiere of "The Numbered" by Elias Canetti and British premieres of plays by Giraudoux, Cocteau and Auden.

Between 1957 and 1960 his work appeared in various mixed exhibitions in London galleries. The work showed radical changes in style. Much influenced by late Braque and Nicholas de Stael he produced a powerful series of landscapes and figures with very heavy impasto. These included a large and important painting called "Summer Figure".

Road to The Sea 1958
Road to the Sea 1958
Coastscape- High Summer 1958
Coastscape- High Summer 1958-
Southampton City Art Gallery
Figures on a Beach 1961 Figures on a Beach 1961
Summer Figure 1960
Summer Figure 1960

In 1961 a large composition, Figures On A Beach, contained enigmatic images and spaces that were seminal to developments in the late 60s. In 1962 Figures On A Beach was exhibited with the London Group.

Following this exhibition the scale of his work became smaller. A series of pastel drawings and oil paintings called "Fountains Abbey" became almost abstract. Close tones and freer forms marked the emergence of his mature style.

At this time he also met the painter Adrien de Menasce (1925-1995) and an exchange of ideas influenced them both.

Fountans Abbey 1961 Hill and Tree 1962
Fountains Abbey - Late Afternoon 1960
Jerwood Collection
 Hill and Tree 1962
Private Collection