Lithograph, subtly colored in black, tan/gray and white, numbered at lower left margin 8/100, pencil signed at lower right, by one of England's earliest Abstract Expressionist painters, FRANK AVRAY WILSON (1914-2009). The print measures 25 1/4" by 19 1/2", and is presently housed in a simple metal frame. Wilson was an active figure in the art scene in London from about the late 1940's, peaking artistically in the 1960's, before ceasing exhibition and promotion in the mid 1970's. He became something of an obscure figure, until the Redfern Gallery held a retrospective in 1995, while the artist was still living. An oral history, taken that year, is found online, and it makes for fascinating insight into a very complex and intellectual artistic mind. Wilson was born in Mauritius in the Indian Ocean to a colonial plantation owner father. He declined the opportunity to continue in that pursuit, seeking scientific education at Cambridge in the 1930's. This scientific training, added to the childhood exposure to mineral crystals and the biology and raw color of the tropics, congealed eventually into a complex artistic philosophy centered on the necessity for structure and "vitalist" form in art, derived from the natural world. Wilson lived into his mid 90's. A friend of modern greats like Hans Hartung, Alfred Manessier, Georges Mathieu, and Lynn Chadwick, his legacy had faded in recent decades. Recent auction records to over $20,000 in London for Wilson's paintings, and a quickening pace of sales in the auction rooms for modern British art, would appear to bode well for his legacy. Wilson created apparently very few prints; there are only a handful of auction records for them. This example, dating from the early 1960's---arguably the high point of Wilson's career---is a very scarce work indeed. It is in excellent condition save for a few minor handling creases mostly at top margin, and very slight rippling of the heavy paper. See the net for more information on this talented artist. His obituary, published in February 2009 by the British newspaper, The Independent, nicely summarizes the artist and his place in the history of modern British art.
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