Bryan Ingham (1936-1997)
Upright Jug (1993-95)
Pencil and oil on board
64 x 19 cm
Provenance: Bohun Galleries, Paintings in Hospitals.
Signed, titled and dated 1993-95 (on backboard).
Bryan Ingham was born in Yorkshire. For his National Service he joined the RAF, and spent his time in Germany as an airman. After demobilisation, his final report included the statement that “Ingham is an artistic sort of airman.” In his spare time he had started painting in oils, and by the time he left the RAF he had completed a large number of paintings.
He studied at St Martin’s School of Art in London, where he had the tuition of a fine post-war generation of teachers who helped him to hone his draughtsmanship and other skills, and he swiftly showed a capacity for painting that drew the attention of his tutors and peers. On graduating he was offered and accepted a post-graduate place at the Royal College of Art, where in his second year he was awarded a Royal Scholarship and was a contemporary of a number of now better-known names including David Hockney.
Ingham applied for and received a Leverhulme travel award to explore the sites of the great Renaissance painters, and spent many happy months engaged in this expedition. He spent time at the English Art school in Rome, where he lived well and busied himself the same studio that Barbara Hepworth had used.
At this stage of his career, Ingham consciously rejected the prospect of pursuing a career as an establishment artist, although the RA was open to him, and he went to live in remote cottage in Cornwall.
The subsequent years were varied and highly productive, and Ingham’s personal artistic voice emerged in his oeuvre in the form of an always-developing dialogue with influences both of landscape and other artists of every age. His preoccupation with etching resulted in several hundred plates, some very large, and the results are as unmistakable as they are varied, but invariably of outstanding quality. He produced a number of sculptures in bronze and in plaster, while his lifelong output of paintings remained small but again of very high quality. He taught etching regularly until about 5 years before his death, latterly at Falmouth Art School, and also at Farnham Art College.
During the late eighties he established a relationship with the art dealer Francis Graham-Dixon, who had a London gallery. This meant that his paintings were professionally marketed for the first time, and prices for his work rose steadily in the last ten years of his life, and subsequently. He was able to purchase a cottage in Helston for his parents, who lived there until their deaths. He then moved into a fine set of converted-barn studios with a patch of garden, quietly situated off the High St in Helston, and it was here, on 22 September 1997, that he died, having quietly suffered from cancer for nearly a year.
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Condition: Generally excellent; framed.