British painter, born at Ledbury, Hertfordshire. He was the most committed, energetic, and enduring British exponent of *Surrealism, remaining true to its ideals throughout a very long career. He moved to Birmingham in the 1930s and in 1935, inspired by an encounter with a book by R. H. *Wilenski, became a convert to modern art. In 1937 he worked with the Paris Surrealists and the following year he joined the short-lived English Surrealist group; he thought that ‘the collapse of the English Surrealist movement can be attributed to its failure to establish a coherent political position’ (Charles Harrison, English Art and Modernism: 1900–1939, 1981). He had not taken part in the London International Surrealist Exhibition of 1936 because he considered it insufficiently Surrealist.

Text source: A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art (Oxford University Press)

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