We are pleased to announce the Ewart Johns Studio Sale which will be taking place on behalf of his family on Wednesday 3rd May at 10:30 am.
This specialised auction will feature over 200 select pieces from the lifetime works of British postwar & contemporary artist, Ewart Johns. This auction will be of particular interest to galleries, collectors and those who had a personal connection with the Welsh artist, who lived in Exeter, Lancaster and South Hams.
Ewart Johns’ creative life also involved theatre production and design, writing and music, but primarily he is an artist who has shared his love of exploring line form and colour during his teaching career, while at the same time producing a very large body of his own works. He has exhibited widely, and his paintings are represented in a number of public art collections in the UK.
“I have been constantly attracted to the subject of the human figure in integral relationship to its surroundings”.
This auction includes pieces that span Ewart Johns’ 70-year career as an artist. His artwork reflects many of the artistic developments that took place during this time, such as abstraction, impressionism and figurative.
“There is no beauty that has not some strangeness in the proportion”.
Of particular interest, is an original oil pastel of the late comedian and actress, Victoria Wood. Johns was acquainted with the artist through his theatrical design work in the late 1970s. Whilst playing the piano at his home in Lancaster, Ewart drew and created a portrait of her.
Born in 1923 in Barry, South Wales, Ewart Johns was a practising artist until his death in 2013. From Barry to Cambridge, then London to Exeter, his love of drawing, painting and the broader arts shaped his early life and enhanced his career at Exeter University.
In 1972, he was the founding head of the new department of The Visual Arts at Lancaster University. In the 1980s, he moved back to Devon (Exeter followed by South Brent) to concentrate fully on his own artwork. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from the University of Plymouth in 2001.
Taken from Ewart Johns- 50 years of art “My methods include working up a painting from a life-drawing, inventing a picture or a wood construction from imagination, using photographs in realistic works, and at other times pushing an image close to the boundary of total abstraction- but never beyond”.
“I have no wish to join the fashionable tendency to make art that will shock or anger: if the nature of my work, will both satisfy and surprise, I ask no more”.
For a closer look at his processes, you can watch this video titled ‘Ewart Johns – Picture in the Making’. Having lost his sight in later life, he explored other ways of expressing visual concepts, including making sculptures and low reliefs in wood.
We are indebted to the Johns family for their cooperation in bringing these wonderful paintings to public attention. Pop along to the saleroom to view the collection on the 27th and 28th of April and the 2nd and 3rd of May from 9 am – 4 pm or by appointment. Please feel free to call our team on 01752 254740 for more information.