Victor Pasmore

Victor Pasmore

Victor Pasmore was perhaps the most influential abstract artist in Britain in the mid-twentieth century. Influenced by the revolutionary School of Paris, he broke out into the wild realm of the purely non-representational, a realm he would do much to shape for future generations. Read more

Pasmore was born in Chelsam, Surrey, where he spent his childhood and studied at Harrow School. In 1927 he moved to London where he soon became a member of the avant-garde art world, while working in local government. In 1932 he was elected a member of the London Artists Association and later the London group and exhibited at the Zwemmer Gallery. In 1937 he joined Claude Rogers and William Coldstream in starting the art school at 12 Fitzroy Street. The following year, with the support of Kenneth Clark he was able to devote himself entirely to painting and held his first important one-man show at the Wildenstein Gallery in 1940.

To start with, his paintings were mostly Whistlerian landscapes and portraits, but in 1948 he started to experiment with pure abstract forms and surprised the public with a one-man show of abstract paintings at the Redfern Gallery. Pasmore was appointed Director of Painting at the University of Newcastle in 1954 and began a project that was to last over 20 years designing the layout and architecture of the new town of Peterlee in County Durham. From 1960 on he held a series of retrospective exhibitions, held in some of the most important international museums. In 1964 he was awarded the Carnegie Prize and showed at the Tate Gallery, London and the Sao Paolo Biennial. In 1966 he moved to Malta and began intensive experimentation with making prints at the 2RC print shop in Rome.



Printmaking became a major part of his oeuvre and he worked with Curwen Press, Kelpra Studio, White Ink and other print studios. Since his death in 1998 the popularity of his prints has grown immensely and the earlier work, in particular, is becoming increasingly scarce.