Born in Burma, Heath was educated in England. He attended Bryanston and Newlyn School of Art where he was taught by Stanhope Forbes, followed by the Slade School of Fine Art from 1939. He served in the Royal Air Force, spending much of his time as a prisoner in Germany. It was whilst in captivity he meet Terry Frost, whom he taught to paint. Following his return to England Heath resumed his studies at the Slade.
His first solo exhibition was held at the Museé Carcassone, France in 1948. From 1953 he showed at Redfern Gallery and other notable London galleries, in the provinces and abroad.
A committed teacher, he taught at the Bath Academy of Art, between 1955 and 1957 and University of Reading from 1980 to 1985. He was Chairman of Artists' International Association between 1955 and 1964, and on the panel of the Arts Council from 1964 to 1967.
Heath's work is included in many important collections, including; the Tate Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Whitworth Gallery, Manchester and the Hirschhorn Museum, Washington.
signed and dated 1961
Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery, John Moores Liverpool Exhibition 3, 1961
Bristol City Art Gallery, Retrospective Exhibition; touring to Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield, 1971-2
Jonathan Clark Fine Art, Adrian Heath: Five Decades, 2015, cat 16
Jane Rye, Adrian Heath, Lund Humphries, 2012, illustrated p 147
The 1960’s saw Heath graduating from geometric, analytical abstraction to an approach rooted in organic form. The prominent vertical brushwork appears to articulate the edge of a three-dimensional structure, fracturing into smooth curves. The rich, exuberant palette of deep ochre and black, a motif that runs through Heath’s work, plays with bright, warm and mellow light and the receding shadow cast behind it.