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John Virtue

Associate Artist 2003–5

John Virtue is a landscape painter whose work rides a fine line between abstraction and figuration.

John Virtue and his work

John Virtue at work in his studio
Copyright © John Virtue. Photo: The National Gallery.

His paintings have affinities with oriental brush-painting and American abstract expressionism but above all, they relate closely to the great English landscape painters, Turner and Constable, whom Virtue admires enormously. He also refers constantly to the Dutch and Flemish landscapes of Ruisdael, Koninck and Rubens.

Virtue works from the landscape of where he happens to be living. Immediately before he moved to London, he had been living in South Devon, using the landscape of the Exe estuary as his subject.

He works solely in black and white. All of his paintings are executed on canvas, using white acrylic paint, black ink and shellac.

His work was displayed in the exhibition 'John Virtue: London Paintings' which ran from 9 March – 5 June 2005.

John Virtue's studio

John Virtue's studio at the National Gallery
Copyright © John Virtue. Photo: The National Gallery.

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