Wells first experimented with lithography in the late 1950s. This work, combining oil paint, lithography and crayon, develops his previous experiments with the medium. It is typical of his layering process, exploiting the qualities of various different media to create densely textured image. He often used red and ochre tones in his work, referencing the iron-ore stained landscape of Cornwall.
Date of work
Original: Oil, lithograph and crayon on paper 75 x 55 cm Tate © The estate of John Wells
John Wells was a major figure in the St Ives group of artists that were at the forefront of British modern and abstract art in the post-war period. He worked as a GP throughout the 1930s and early 1940s, only pursuing art as a career in his late thirties, when he moved to Newlyn, near St Ives in 1946. He remained in the town for the rest of his life, drawing inspiration from the dramatic landscapes and vast Atlantic vistas. His abstract paintings and sculptures are celebrated for their subtlety and controlled use of space and form.