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Biography

 John Virtue Home The Associate Artist: Biography

1947 Born in Accrington, Lancashire
1965-69 Studied at Slade School of Fine Art
1971 Moved to Green Haworth, a small village on the edge of the Pennine moorland and concentrated single-mindedly on painting this location
1978-1980 Abandoned painting in favour of works made on acid-free board using a dense network of lines drawn with pen and ink. Worked as a postman for 7 years, deliberately removing himself from contact with the art world
1980 Began laying his drawings on board in monumental grid formations
1991 Began working directly from nature on large un-stretched canvases
1996 Began working on stretched canvas from drawings

Awards

1964 Won First Prize in the Sunday Mirror painting exhibition
1966 Won Walter Neurath prize for painting awarded by Thames & Hudson Publishers
1981 Arts Council Major Award
1983 Joint First prize-winner in the 4th Tolly Cobbold Exhibition

Selected Solo Exhibitions

1985, 86, 88, 90 The Lisson Gallery, London
1988 LA Louver Gallery, Venice, California
1990 '10 New Paintings', Louver Gallery, New York
1991 'New Works', Gallery Kasahara, Osaka, Japan
1991 'Recent Work', Serpentine Gallery, London
1992 'New Works', Louver Gallery, New York
1993 'The Landscapes - 1991-93', Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London
1993 'New Paintings', LA Louver Gallery, Venice, California
1994 'Darklands, Terra Nera', Galerie Buchmann, Basel, Switzerland
1995 'New Works' Whitechapel Art Gallery; Arnolfini, Bristol; Douglas Hyde Gallery (touring)
1996 'Etchings', Jason Rhodes Gallery, London
1997 'New Works', LA Louver Gallery, Venice, California
1997 'New Paintings', Jason Rhodes Gallery, London
1998 'The Exe Estuary Paintings', Spacex Gallery, Exeter
1999 'John Virtue', Michael Hue-Williams Fine Art, London
2000-2001 'New Work', 1998-2000', Tate Gallery, St. Ives,
2000-2001 'New Paintings', Michael Hue-Williams Fine Art, London
2003 'Last Paintings of the Exe Estuary, 1998-2000', LA Louver Gallery, Venice, California
2003 'Last Paintings of the Exe Estuary, 1998-2000', Annandale Gallery, Sydney

Forthcoming Solo Exhibitions

March - June 2005 'John Virtue: London Paintings', National Gallery, London (Sunley Room & Central Hall)
A catalogue with foreword by Charles Saumarez-Smith, essays by Simon Schama, Paul Moorhouse and Colin Wiggins will accompany this exhibition
March - June 2005 'John Virtue: London Drawings', The Courtauld Institute, London,
A catalogue with foreword by Deborah Swallow, essay by Martin Gayford will accompany this exhibition
February - April 2006 'John Virtue: London Paintings and London Drawings' Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT.

Selected Bibliography

'John Virtue, works 1985-86', essay by Stuart Morgan Lisson Gallery, London, 1986
'John Virtue: Green Haworth 1978-1988', essay by Richard Cork, Lisson Gallery, London, 1988
'10 New Paintings' by Richard Cork, Louver Gallery, New York, 1990
'New Works', essay by Mel Gooding, Gallery Kasahara, Osaka, Japan, 1991
'John Virtue: New Paintings', by Andrew Graham Dixon, Whitechapel Art Gallery; Arnolfini, Bristol; Douglas Hyde Gallery, 1995
'The Exe Estuary Paintings', by Paul Moorhouse Spacex Gallery, Exeter, 1998
'John Virtue' foreword by Frank Auerbach, text by Tessa Jackson, Michael Hue-Williams Fine Art, London, 1999
'John Virtue: New Work, 1998-2000' by Paul Moorhouse, Tate Gallery, St. Ives, 2000
'New Paintings' essay by Andrew Graham Dixon, Michael Hue-Williams Fine Art, London, 2000
'Last Paintings of the Exe Estuary, 1998-2000' by Bill Gregory, Annandale Gallery, Sydney, 2003

Public Collections include

Tate Gallery, London; British Museum, London; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Arts Council England; Government Art Collection; Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven, CT; Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis; Contemporary Art Society, London; London Hospital NHS Trust; Guildhall Museum & Art Gallery, London; Courtauld Gallery Collection of Drawings & Prints, London

See also:

Why John Virtue? 
Open studio days