Christopher Wood 1901-1930


Mrs John Addison Private Collection, USA                          


Redfern Gallery, 1954


Eric Newton Christopher Wood 1901-1930 Redfern Gallery no.85, p.66

Christopher Wood was born in Knowsley, near Liverpool in 1901. After contracting septicaemia, Wood begun to draw whilst convalescing. He went on to study architecture briefly at Liverpool University (1919-20) before moving to Paris to study drawing at the Academie Julian in 1921. In Paris, Wood quickly became part of the artistic, bohemian world, meeting Augustus John, Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau. In 1926 he was commissioned by Diaghilev to design the sets for the Ballet Ruses' production of Romeo and Juliet. Returning to England, he became a member of the London Group (1926) and the Seven and Five Society (1926-30). He exhibited with Ben and Winifred Nicholson at the Beaux Arts Gallery in 1927, and whilst on a painting trip to St Ives with Ben Nicholson he met the fisherman painter Alfred Wallis, whose 'primitive' style had a significant influence upon Wood's artistic development. Wood had a solo exhibition at Arthur Tooth & Sons in April 1929, followed by a joint exhibition with Ben Nicholson at the Galerie Bernheim in Paris in May 1930. Wood committed suicide in August 1930, and posthumous exhibitions were held at the Wertheim Gallery in 1931 and the Lefevre Galleries in 1932, and his paintings were included in the British Pavilion at the 1938 Venice Biennale.