Wood’s career took off while he studied drawing at the Académie Julian in 1921. He entered into fashionable artistic circles, meeting the Chilean diplomat Antonio de Gandarillas who introduced him to Picasso, Georges Auric and Jean Cocteau. Although his painting was regarded as charmingly untutored, he learnt from these acquaintances, especially adopting the elegant line of Cocteau's drawings. He exhibited with Ben and Winifred Nicholson at the Beaux Arts Gallery (April-May 1927), becoming close to them personally and artistically. On a trip to St Ives, he and Ben Nicholson encountered the fisherman painter Alfred Wallis, whose work answered a shared interest in 'primitive' expression and helped Wood to establish a personal style.
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