The exhibition revisits abstract works shown in Pasmore’s lauded 1965 retrospective at the Tate, as well as others created in the years immediately prior to and after the show, illuminating a crucial stage in the artist’s long career. This is a unique chance to view works unseen by the public since 1965, including a mural painting on linen that Pasmore created on-site especially for the Tate exhibition. While it is listed in the catalogue raisonné, the mural was believed to have been destroyed after the exhibition and was only rediscovered in 2018.
Born in Surrey, UK, Pasmore’s early lyrical landscapes and sensitive approach to figurative painting soon earnt him a reputation as one of the outstanding painters of his generation. However, this traditional style of painting was later superseded by his abstract paintings, collages and rigorously constructed reliefs, such that he is now best known for pioneering the development of abstract art in Britain. In the 1960s, his geometry softened and he introduced more painterly, natural forms and curves into his work. Often conveyed through the use of new techniques such as sponge and spray painting, Pasmore also experimented with a more vibrant colour palette in his output from this decade.
Pasmore holds a unique place in the canon of British art as his work reflects and anticipates the changes that occurred in art and art practice across the twentieth century, leading him to become one of the foremost exponents and theorists of abstract art. His work, in all its diversity, remains challenging and relevant in the contemporary landscape; the gallery is excited to play a part in that story through this exhibition.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with text by Dr. Chris Stephens, Director of the Holburne Museum, Bath.