Gerald Meares, British (1911-1975)

Artist's Biography

A sculptor, woodcarver and painter, born in Woodford, Essex. Meares originally planned on a career in science, but changed his mind in favour of the arts. He trained after the war as a sculptor at the Regent Street Polytechnic under the sculptor Geoffrey Deeley and then lived for several years in Tenterden as a monumental mason doing sculpture, lettering and portraiture. After moving to Tunbridge Wells, he began painting nudes, portraits and semi abstract work. He also became interested in the people, art and scenery of North Africa and the Sahara after going on safari.

Meares was fascinated by movement, and would always carry his sketch pad on trains, into cafes and on walks – later combining the recalled movement in composite paintings. The characteristic Meares subject begins from a group of moving figures. These may be enmeshed with moving water or set in abstract complementary shapes which echo the lines and planes in the central figures – reminiscent of the abstract effects of a stained glass window. His more completely abstract works show much experimentation with technique. These are frequently on hardboard, sized and textured with canvas or plaster, upon which ground he pushes liquid paint into shape with a variety of wooden tools, and his own fingers. These methods produce crusty, textured slabs, usually framed in brass.

His works were highly regarded by his fellow artists and feature in numerous private and public collections, including that of the Duke of Edinburgh.
Exhibitions Include:
Royal Academy; RBA; Young Contemporaries; Glasgow Institute; Royal Portrait Society