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Bryan Wynter (1915 - 1975)

Bryan Wynter studied first at Westminster School of Art in London from 1937 to 1938, then at London's Slade School of Art from 1938 to 1940. During World War II, he registered as a conscientious objector and worked in a lab testing animals. In 1945 he settled in Zennor near St Ives in Cornwall, where his close friend Patrick Heron was among his immediate neighbours. In 1947 he co-founded the Crypt group with the goal of exhibiting the work of modern artists who were given only peripheral coverage in the St Ives Society exhibitions. He taught at the Bath Academy of Art in Corsham from 1951 to 1955. From 1954 he exhibited with the London Group and from 1949 to 1958 with the Penwith Society in St Ives.


At the start of his career, Wynter's work was heavily influenced by Surrealism. In the early fifties, Wynter took up a position at Bath Academy where colleagues such as William Scott, Peter Lanyon, Adrian Heath and Kenneth Armitage brought European developments to his attention, and their influence can be felt in his subsequent still-lifes and landscapes.In 1956 Wynter spent some time in London where he encountered the work of the Abstract Expressionists at the Modern Art in the United States exhibition at the Tate Gallery. In both a Surrealist and Abstract Expressionist vein, Wynter attempted to unleash the subconscious in his painting through the influence of the then legal drug, mescaline.


 In 1965 Wynter began a series of paintings based on water. Abandoning the muted tonality of his previous work, reflection and refraction were evoked through bold, psychedelic colours and large gestural strokes evoked the meandering of water. A symbol for new life and spiritual renewal, these later water paintings were the culmination of Wynter's attempt to reconcile nature and the human spirit.


Text Source: Benezit Dictionary of Artists