We have put together this Northern Art Directory to provide you with information on the Northern British Artists whose works we regularly sell in our auctons. Click an artist to find out more information and to see works we have recently sold and prices achieved.
Helen Bradley was born in Lees near Oldham in 1900, and won an art scholarship to Oldham Art School in 1913. She only began to paint regularly when she was 65 - motivated to show her grandchildren how different her own childhood had been - she was encouraged in this by a chance meeting with L.S.Lowry.
Peter Brook painted rural landscapes, farmhouses and scenes from different facets of British life. He was elected to the Royal Society of British Artists in 1962. Peter Brook’s paintings are instantly recognisable and often feature the bleak moorland landscapes of the Pennines, Yorkshire and Scotland with his trademark man and dog motifs, together with the occasional wandering sheep.
Arthur Delaney was born in Manchester in 1927. He started work in a textile design studio in Manchester at the age of 13; Delaney started to paint as a hobby having no formal art training. His great influences were his friend L.S. Lowry and his memories of growing up in Manchester in the 1930s.
Born in Salford in 1910, Tom Dodson was the eldest of five children born into a working class family. He left school at 14 and never formally worked as an artist. However, after retirement he found more time to paint, and created realistic images of his working class childhood; his style was all his own, and he brought a sense of simplicity and energy to his subject matter.
Born in Hyde, Greater Manchester in 1947, Trevor Grimshaw studied at the Stockport College of Art. He worked in charcoal, graphite and gouache which gave his mostly monochrome, stylised pictures of the northern industrial landscape a smoky, atmospheric look. In addition to industrial landscapes, Grimshaw’s pictures covered a wide range of topics including construction sites, monuments and steam engines, for which he had a passion.
Roger Hampson is best known for his paintings and drawings of mining, factory and street scenes, mill scenes and portraits of the people he met in these surroundings. He studied at Manchester College of Art from 1946 – 1952 and followed a career in teaching art before becoming the principal at the Bolton College of Art and Design, and later running the Loughborough College of Art and Design. He took part in more than 100 group shows and 30 solo exhibitions before his in 1996.
Born in 1917 into a working class family in Wigan, James Lawrence Isherwood’s family were cobblers, and he worked in the shop until released by his father’s death in the 1950s. Isherwood had limited commercial success during his lifetime, painting controversial, gimmicky paintings of celebrities which damaged his reputation as a serious artist. Lowry once bought one of Isherwood’s portraits, paying £5 for the work entitled ‘Minnie Small with cat’.
Born in 1941 in Rusholme, Manchester, Geoffrey Key is regarded as one of the UK’s most important contemporary artists. His paintings are heavily influenced by the school of European Modernism, and he is best known for his bold use of colour, fine draughtsmanship and strong imagination which have resulted in some striking, surreal compositions. Although Geoffrey Key is most famous as an artist he is also a talented sculptor, having taken a postgraduate course in sculpture at the Manchester Regional College of Art.
Lowry's work needs no introductions. Most famous for his paintings of industrial settings round Salford and Pendlebury, Lowry was a faithful and prolific chronicler of working-class life in the mills, factories and streets of the era. His stylised portrayal of people and animals in his paintings led to the figures being called ‘matchstick men’.
Born in 1908 in Wigan, Lancashire to a family of mill workers, Theodore Major is as well known for his individual views as for his artwork. He was proud of his working class roots and refused to paint for gain, declining to sell pictures ‘to rich people’, but instead using his art to try and connect with ordinary people outside the art world. Major attended evening art classes at Wigan Art School, but always thought of himself as essentially self taught.
Born in Leeds in 1923 Donald McIntyre spent his childhood in North West Scotland, moving to North Wales in the late 1950’s where he would remain until his death in 2009. His paintings of Iona, Cornwall and Wales continue to go from strength to strength in our sales and we are proud to hold the auction record for this artist.
Harold Riley was born in 1934 in Salford, and during his student days met and became friendly with L.S. Lowry, who became a huge influence on Riley’s work; Riley and Lowry collaborated on a project to document Salford’s industrial landscape and the day-to-day working lives of its inhabitants. Although Harold Riley has painted his native city many times, he’s probably best known for his portraits of such notable figures as the Duke of Edinburgh and Nelson Mandela.
Wilf Roberts was born in 1941 on Anglesey, an area that inspired much of his work. He never believed when he was growing up that it was possible to make a living as an artist, as at the time there were no outlets for artists in Wales; instead, he trained as an art teacher and spent 13 years teaching in London. He returned to Anglesey in the 1970s, and was employed in local government and education while continuing to paint as a hobby. He retired in 1996 to concentrate on painting.
Harry Rutherford was born in Denton, Greater Manchester, in 1903, and lived for much of his life in Hyde where he attended the Hyde College of Art. From the 1950s until his retirement in 1968, he was an art teacher at the Regional College of Art in Manchester and was also president of the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts for eight years.
Lancashire born artist Steven Scholes started painting from the age of 5 which is when he picked up his first award. By1974 he had won the Manchester Evening News Art Competition beating professional artists in the pricess. He became a professional artist himself four years later in 1978.
Picked out by critics as one of the rising stars of the contemporary art scene, Liam Spencer was born in Burnley in 1964. He studied at Burnley College and Manchester Polytechnic, and is best known for his studies of city scenes and Manchester’s canals. He came to public attention in 2000 with his exhibition ‘Urban Panoramas’ at the Lowry arts centre in Salford. Two paintings by Liam Spencer hang in the Manchester Art Gallery alongside works by Adolphe Valette, Camille and Lucien Pisarro and L.S.Lowry.
Born in the Manchester area in 1943, Peter Stanaway is considered a rising star in the contemporary Northern art world. His work has been widely exhibited, including at Manchester City Art Gallery, Bury, Stockport, Oldham and Salford art galleries and Liverpool Cathedral. His striking, graphic colour blocks and strong structural compositions were influenced by Keith Vaughan, Fernand Léger and William Roberts, but his work has a regional, Northern flavour as well.
William (Bill) Turner was born in 1920 in Manchester in poor circumstances. Although William Turner’s work is often bracketed with Lowry’s, he was greatly influenced by the French and German Expressionist schools, and his paintings are more vibrant and vigorous with a strong use of colour which lightens his often industrial subject matter.
Pierre Adolphe Valette was a Northern artist by adoption rather than birth. Born in France, Valette came to Britain in 1904. He studied at the Manchester School of Art, and later taught there from 1906 to 1920. Valette was heavily influenced by the French Impressionist painters and used these techniques to paint Northern industrial scenes shrouded in atmospheric mists and pollution. His work has been widely exhibited, including in The Lowry Gallery and the Manchester City Galleries.
John Kyffin Williams was born near Llangefni on Anglesey in 1918, Williams studied at the Slade School of Fine Art. In 1944 he became senior art master at a school in London, a post he held for 30 years, while continuing to make regular visits to North Wales to paint.
Born in Caernarvon, North Wales in 1908, Charles Wyatt Warren painted the breath-taking scenery around his native Snowdonia in the impasto, palette knife sculpted style of the North Welsh school made famous by its master, the late Sir Kyffin Williams.