The Collection

Composition

John Wells

Composition

© Estate of the Artist
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ArtistJohn Wells (1907-2000)
TitleComposition
Date1968-1976
MediumOil on canvas
ProvenanceWith Agnew’s Gallery, London; sold through Christie's, London, on 12 June 1998 (Lot 122)
Exhibition'John Wells', St Ives, Wills Lane Gallery, 1987 (not numbered)
Dimensionsheight: 50.50 cm, width: 76.00 cm
Inscriptionverso, tl: 68/18 ; verso, br: ANCHOR STUDIO/TREWARVENETH STREET/NEWLYN/CORNWALL ; verso, tcr: John Wells. 1968-76
AcquisitionPurchased from Christie's, 12 June 1998
LocationSerbia, Belgrade, British Embassy
GAC number17325
 
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The simplicity and geometry of "Composition" reflects the influence of early abstract artists Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth and Naum Gabo. John Wells worked as a doctor before moving in 1945 to Newlyn in Cornwall, where he devoted himself to painting and became heavily involved in the artistic community centred on St Ives in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Wells' earlier paintings were more concerned with surface texture and the representation of natural forms than his more hard-edged works of the 1960s and '70s. His intention in works like "Composition" was to reach a balance of line, colour and form, while maintaining a grounding in landscape and nature.

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