Margaret Mellis: A Life in Colour
Artist(s): Margaret Mellis
Author(s): Nichola Johnson, Mel Gooding, Calvin Winner, Emily Whalley
Year published: 2008
Publisher: Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
Publisher Location: London
Total Pages: 15.00
Illustrations: 64 colour and 6 b&w illustrations
1 in stock
A Life in Colour celebrates the life and career of Suffolk-based artist Margaret Mellis, from the early collages and representational works, to the abstract reliefs, culminating in the magnificent driftwood constructions. The three essays look at the influence of her experience in St Ives on Mellis’s early career; her fascination with colour and form; and her technique and materials.
In 1939, with her first husband, writer and painter Adrian Stokes, Margaret Mellis moved to St Ives, Cornwall where they both became central figures in the St Ives group of artists which included Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson and Naum Gabo. Mellis’s career was heavily influenced by her experiences in St Ives and her work is an superb example of this particular branch of British modernism.
From 1939, Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth, along with their family, lived with Mellis and Stokes. Mellis was encouraged by Nicholson to move away from representational painting and to experiment with collage and relief, prompting her to ‘think in a different way, not in colour which was natural to me’.
In 1948, Mellis re-married to the artist Francis Davison and after a brief time in post-war France, she settled in Suffolk in 1950 where she has since lived and worked.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition Margaret Mellis: A Life in Colour at Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, 1 July – 31 August 2008.