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DOROTHY MEADBritish 1928 - 1975

Direct from the artist's estate

DOROTHY MEADBritish 1928 - 1975

Mead remained closely associated with the group and was held in very high regard by the other members. Her relationship with Cliff Holden took her to Spain for over a year. Mead went to Sweden for the first time briefly with Holden and Creffield for the exhibition Fyra Engelsman at Gummesons Gallerie in Stockholm in 1952. She and Holden later exhibited together in Sweden at Hallands Museum in 1956. She attended the Slade School of Art from 1956 to 1959, following application on her and Creffield's behalf by Bomberg to William Coldstream, as a mature student and proved to be an influential figure amongst her peers and becoming the lover of Andrew Forge, the senior lecturer, a trustee of the National Gallery and the Tate, and one of the three most influential critics in Britain at that time, along with John Berger and David Sylvester. She also won numerous awards including the Steer Medal, yet left without securing a diploma after she refused to sit an exam on perspective, stating in a letter to Sir William Coldstream that "perspective is completely alien to me in my work as a painter."

Mead was the first woman president of the Young Contemporaries (1958-59) and her work entered the collection of the Arts Council in the early 60s. This was followed by her inclusion in the Arts Council exhibition 6 Young Painters in 1964. The exhibition also featured David Hockney and Bridget Riley and shows the regard she was held in by the establishment. Despite this, she showed infrequently in commercial galleries, instead favouring groups and associations. She became a member of the London Group and 1971 she was nominated to be president - the first female artist to hold the post during 1971-73. At around this time, a still life by Mead entered the collection of the Tate Gallery in London. Yet she never had a solo exhibition in her life, and not for 30 years after her death.

Mead died tragically young at the age of 46. She was remembered fondly as an inspirational teacher as well as an artist (she held posts at Goldsmiths College and Morley College - which also own examples of her work). Recently her work has been rediscovered by a new generation of collectors and critics thanks in no small part to the creation of the Borough Road Gallery. This gallery is the permanent home of the Sarah Rose Collection which includes works by the principal members of the group. The gallery held a retrospective of her work in 2012 and regularly displays her paintings in mixed exhibitions.

Waterhouse & Dodd are exclusive agents to the estate of Dorothy Mead.