Cyril Power

Cyril Power

Cyril Power was an English artist best known for his linocut prints, with their distinctively modern sense of space and movement, and for co-founding The Grosvenor School Of Modern Art in London in 1925. Read more

Power was born in London, the eldest son of an architect. His family encouraged his creative abilities, both in music and drawing, and Power went on to study architecture before joining his father's practice. In 1900 he won the Sloan Medallion awarded by the Royal Institute of Architecture (RIBA) for his design for an art school. During this time he also wrote the History of Medieval Architecture, which included his own illustrations and was published in three volumes. Power married Dorothy Nunn in 1904 and they would go on to have four children together.

During his only absence from London, a brief time spent in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, Power met and began a lifelong collaboration with friend and fellow artist Sybil Andrews. Back in London in 1925, they founded the Grosvenor School of Modern Art in Warwick Square, along with Claude Flight and Iain McNab. Power was the principle lecturer, teaching structure and form in buildings, historical ornament and architectural style. It was during this time that he began to study lino cutting under Claude Flight. The resultant work attracted worldwide interest in the Grosvenor School.

The First Exhibition of British Lino Cutswas held at the Redfern Gallery in June 1929. Subsequently, annual exhibitions were held at both the Redfern and Ward galleries, generating considerable interest and commissions from the London Tourist Board for a series of Prints on the theme sporting venues reached by the Underground. These collaboration prints between Power and Andrews were all signed 'Andrew Power'.

Power's subjects continued to focus on elements of architecture, but with commissioned work on sporting venues, themes of speed and movement in the urban environment became prevalent. All these elements are combined in two of his best works, The Sunshine Roofand Tube Station.

Power continued to teach and to paint, principally in oils, producing ninety two paintings in the last year of his life. He died in London aged 79. His works are held in a number of permanent collections including: The British Museum, London, the London Transport Museum and The Museum of Modern Art in New York.