Frank Avray Wilson at Whitford Fine Art, London

Whitford Fine Art is showcasing a retrospective exhibition of one of the best Abstract Expressionist artist, Frank Avray Wilson.

On view through November 16, the exhibition is second major solo show dedicated to previously unseen early works by Frank Avray Wilson.

Born on the multicultural island of Mauritius in 1914, Frank Avray Wilson came to Abstraction following years of scientific research into the source of human aesthetics. Having graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in biology in 1938, Avray Wilson used his scientific knowledge to further his painting.

Once he discovered that color is not matter but energy, that an image could be alive as a living cell under a microscope, and that human art-making is a reflection of Nature’s Art Making.

Avray Wilson arrived at full abstract gestural painting during the early 1950s. His explosions of color and shapes burst in strength and liveliness, and are in their dignity and abstract grandeur challenging our predisposed understanding of what art should be.

“I studied biology hoping that it would provide me with an explanation of the wonder of life. But the claim that life was no more than a molecular mechanism, led me to join the ranks of ‘vitalist’ biologists, who recognised that life, like beauty, was a quality, not a thing. Artists do not usually need a justification for art. The power of art is convincing enough. But my scientific background obliged me to find an explanation of nature’s art, which I felt sure would provide me with the firmest justification for human art,” Avray Wilson commented.

During the 1950s and 1960s Avray Wilson enjoyed a celebrated status with no less than twelve one-man shows in galleries in London, Paris and Brussels.

“The British intellectual elites welcomed a new radical form of art, and in London, Avray Wilson showed alongside Sandra Blow, Lynn Chadwick, Anthony Caro, Paul Feiler, Peter Lanyon, Patrick Heron, Ivon Hitchens, Terry Frost, William Scott, Richard Smith, William Turnbull and Bryan Wynter. In Paris and Brussels, Avray Wilson’s works were esteemed by Hans Hartung, Georges Mathieu, Jean-Paul Riopelle and Pierre Soulages, with whom he exhibited at the Galerie Internationale (1956) and Galerie Helios (1957). The Redfern Gallery in London hosted seven one-man shows between 1957 and 2002,” Whitford Fine Art informs.

Whitford Fine Art has procured a number of key works from the 1950s and 1960s directly from the artist while he was alive, which will finally allow collectors and the public at large to rediscover the power and beauty of this influential British artist.

The exhibition is on view through November 23, 2018 at Whitford Fine Art, 6 Duke Street, London, United Kingdom.

For details, visit:

Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the exhibition.                                                              

Founder: Louise Blouin                                 


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