Wilhelmina Barns-Graham 1912-2004
A tribute: Recent Paintings & New Prints
28 April - 27 May 2004
Main Gallery
Fully illustrated catalogue available


Wilhelmina Barns-Graham's paintings are a celebration of her life. Her images are distilled observations of the natural world, described through brush stroke and myriad colour. They resonate with energy. With her passing at the age 91 we witness the end of an era in not only the history of the St Ives painting but also in Modern British Art.

This exhibition, formulated last year, pays tribute to a great abstract painter whose knowledge and use of colour was second to none. The works, selected by the artist, include recent paintings and the release of two new series of prints that she had just completed.

"In my paintings I want to express the joy and importance of colour, texture, energy and vibrance, with an awareness of space and construction. As a celebration of life - taking the risk so creating the unexpected."
Barns-Graham, October 2001

The monograph 'W. Barns-Graham : A Studio Life', published by Lund Humphries in 2001, brought Barns-Graham's work to new audiences. The current touring exhibition 'Painting as Celebration', (organised by the Crawford Arts Centre, St. Andrews to celebrate her 90th birthday in 2002), has created much excitement also. It has been heavily attended, at York City Art Gallery and Sheffield's Graves Gallery in particular, further indicating the impact her work is having on an ever more appreciative public. This follows on the huge earlier success of a major survey exhibition held at the Tate St Ives (1999-2000).

Along with the general public, collectors, curators and critics have come to recognise the originality, freshness and integrity of Barns-Graham's work. This exhibition is an exciting display of an artist who continued to excite and to surprise.