Painter, muralist, draughtsman and teacher, born in Barry, Glamorgan. A major formative influence was the teaching of Ceri Richards at Cardiff College of Art. Johns later combined a university career with work as a freelance artist. His academic research, mainly at Exeter, was in urban design, and led to a book on British townscape. He became the first head of department of visual arts at University of Lancaster. Showed widely in mixed exhibitions in Britain and America. Had a series of solo shows at Grabowski Gallery from 1961, and elsewhere in London and the provinces, and in 1981 a retrospective at University College of Wales, Cardiff, and University of Lancaster. This was in three parts, with a strong drawn image approach in common: work of the 1950s, subdued in colour, with form influenced by Cubist ideas; freer paintings of the 1960s; and oil pastels of the 1970s, with a special intensity, luminosity and density and strong emphasis on the figure.

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)

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