Colin Moss (1914 – 2005)

The Cedars, Kensington


Watercolour and gouache

57 x 40 cm

Signed and dated ’50 lower right.

Moss’ view of the Cedars, complete with passers-by and a stormy, jagged sky.

Colin Moss was a noted British painter, draughtsman, printmaker, and teacher who served as a camoufleur during the Second World War. Moss was born in Ipswich but grew up in Plymouth following the death of his father at the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917. Moss studied at the Plymouth Art School from 1930 to 1934 and then went on to the Royal College of Art, where he studied under Gilbert Spencer and Charles Mahoney. He worked on murals for the British Pavilion at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

During the war, Moss made a series of watercolours depicting his time as a camoufleur. He had designed the camouflage scheme for Stonebridge Power Station in Wembley, and produced several watercolours of the camouflaged structure. These pictures, as well as several others painted during his WWII deployment, are now held by the Imperial War Museum, having been purchased by the War Artists’ Advisory Committee.

In 1947 Moss’ military service ended, and he became a teacher at the Ipswich School of Art. He had solo exhibitions at the Kensington Art Gallery in 1951 and the Zwemmer Gallery in 1955, and his work began to be acquired by the national collections. He became a founder member of the New Ipswich Art Group in 1958, and the Six in Suffolk Group in 1976. In the 1970s he exhibited at the Royal Academy and the Royal Watercolour Society, and retrospective exhibitions of his work were held at various British art galleries throughout the 1980s. He continued to hold numerous solo exhibitions after his retirement, and taught artists Brian Eno and Maggi Hambling.

Provenance: “Britain in Watercolours” exhibition.

Condition: excellent.

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