Item 6 of 26 

John Plumb



A groundbreaking British abstract painter, Plumb studied at Luton School of Art 1942-1945, the Byam Shaw School 1948-1950 and the Central School 1952-1955, under Anthony Gross, Victor Pasmore, William Turnbull and Keith Vaughan. It was while he was studying that he met and married Joan Lawrence.

Success came quickly for Plumb. He represented in the AIA abstract exhibitions of 1953 and 1957, in Situation exhibitions 1960 -1961, alongside Bridget Riley, William Turnball, Robyn Denny and notable others and in a group exhibition at Leverkusen, 1961. Group exhibitions since this date include British Painting 1974, Hayward Gallery, London and Art & the 60s: This Was Tomorrow, Tate Britain, 2004.

He taught at Luton School of Art 1955-1961, Maidstone College of Art 1961-1966, and Bennington College, Vermont 1968-1969. He became Senior Lecturer in Painting at the Central School of Art and Design, London 1969-1982. In 1993 he moved to Devon.

His first one-man exhibition was at Gallery One in 1957. He subsequently showed at Marlborough and Axiom Galleries, followed by solo exhibitions throughout the UK, including Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol.

Solo Exhibitions

1957   Gallery One, London, John Plumb
          New Vision Centre Gallery, London, John Plumb Paintings & Drawings

1959   New Vision Centre Gallery, London, John Plumb

1961   Molton Gallery, London, John Plumb, English Abstract Artist

1964   Marlborough New London Gallery, John Plumb
Galerie Muller, Stuttgart, John Plumb

1965   Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, John Plumb

1966   Galerie le Zodiaque, Brussels, John Plumb
Axiom Gallery, London, John Plumb Paintings

1968   Axiom Gallery, London, John Plumb Recent Paintings

1970   London Arts Gallery, John Plumb

1973   The Commonwealth Institute Art Gallery, London, John Plumb Paintings

1985   Bohun Gallery, Henley-on-Thames, John Plumb Recent Paintings

1990   Bohun Gallery, Henley-on-Thames, Reflections

1993   Bath Contemporary Art Fair, John Plumb

1995   Plough Arts Centre, Torrington, Devon, John Plumb

1997   Burton Art Gallery, Devon, From Landscape to Abstraction 1985 - 1997

2002   Atkinson Gallery, Millfield, Somerset, John Plumb Paintings

Group Exhibitions

1948   New English Art Club, London, One Hundred and First Exhibition

1950   Arts Council London, The Observer Exhibition, Portraits of Children

1960   RBA Galleries, London, Situation (An Exhibition of British Abstract Painting)

1961   New London Gallery,   New London Situation, (An Exhibition of British Abstract Art)
Stadtisches Museum Leberkusen, Neue Malerei in England

1962   Marlborough New London Gallery, Hoyland Plumb Stroud Turnbull
San Francisco Museum of Art, British Art Today
(touring to Dallas Museum of Contemporary Art; Santa Barbara Museum of Art)

1963   Kunsthalle Basel, 7 Junge Englische Maler
Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, British Painting in the Sixties
Lissone and Milan, Tredicesimo Premio Lissone 1963
          Gallery One London, Gallery One Ten Years

1964   Kunsthalle Basel, Sammlung La Peau de l'Ours
Dusseldorf, Germany, Britische Malerei der Gegenwart

1965   Kunsthalle Basel, Signale

1966   Bradford City Art Gallery, Contemporary British Art
Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry, Metamorphosis, Figure into Abstract
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, New Forms of Shape and Colour

1967   Japan, 9th Tokyo Biennale
          Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, John Plumb and Denis Mitchell
Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, Six Invited Artists

1968   Laing Art Gallery & Museum, Newcastle and Camden Arts Centre, London,
          Translantic Graphics 1960/67

1970   Hayward Gallery, London, Prater Screenprints

1973   Hoya Gallery, Fulham, London, (Opening Exhibition)

1974   Hayward Gallery, London, British Painting ‘74
Cartwright Hall, Bradford, Fourth British International Print Biennale
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, John Moores 9

1976   Southampton Art Gallery Civic Centre, Colour
JPL Fine Arts London, House of Cards

1977   Royal Academy, London, British Painting 1952-1977
The Minories, Colchester, Formal Abstractions

1983   Royal Academy, Three Decades of Artists from Inner London Art Schools

1984   Bede Gallery, Jarrow, New Vision 1956-66

1988   Bohun Gallery, Henley on Thames, Artists by Themselves,
          Mall Galleries, London, Britain’s Painters 1988

1989   Caxton House Gallery, Tenterden, (Inaugural Exhibition)

1991   Bohun Gallery, Henley-on-Thames, Water’s Edge

1992   Belgrave Gallery, London, British Abstract Art of the 50s and 60s    

1993  Barbican Gallery, London, The Sixties Art Scene in London
Redfern Gallery, London, Post-war British Abstraction
England & Co, London, The Collage Show

1994   Plough Arts Centre, Devon, John Plumb Paintings 1994-1995
Burton Art Gallery, Bideford, Devon, Westward Ho!

1998   England & Co, London, British Art 1945-65

1999  The Millinery Works Gallery, London , Pictures to Live With

2000   Mall Galleries, London, The Discerning Eye

2002   Lincoln, The Gallery, Tate Unseen, Living Artists from the Tate Storeroom

2004   Tate Britain, Art and the Sixties: This Was Tomorrow

2005   Museum of Contemporary Art, Andros Metamorphosis, British Art of the Sixties
Tadema Gallery and JHW Fine Art, London, British Abstract and Constructed Art from a Decade

PVA and vinyl tape on board122 x 122 cm (48 x 48 ins)
Framed size: 128 x 128 cm (50 x 50 ins)

signed, dated 1962 and titled verso


Hull, Ferens Art Gallery, John Plumb, 16 February - 9 March 1965, cat no 11