Victor Pasmore, a British abstract artist, used colour and geometric shapes to create complex compositions inspired by nature, playing a significant role in the development of abstract art in Britain. If you’re looking for original Victor Pasmore prints and editions for sale or would like to sell, request a complimentary valuation and browse our network’s most in-demand works.
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Victor Pasmore (1908 –1998) was a British artist and architect who played a pivotal role in the development of Abstract art in the mid-20th century. Born in Chelsham, Surrey, Pasmore's artistic journey saw him transition from a figurative painter to an influential abstractionist, whose works have left an indelible mark on the world of modern art.
Pasmore's artistic inclinations were evident from an early age, and he began studying art at the age of 16 at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London. He later attended the prestigious Byam Shaw School of Art and continued his studies at the Royal Academy Schools. Initially, Pasmore's paintings were rooted in naturalism, and he was heavily influenced by the works of the Old Masters such as Rembrandt and Titian. During this time, Pasmore was associated with the Euston Road School, a group of artists who advocated realism and the significance of tradition in painting.
Image © Christie's / Linear Motif in Black and White © Victor Pasmore 1960-1961
Victor Pasmore was a proponent of pure abstraction, which he viewed as a way of capturing the essential qualities of art. His work, Linear Motif In Black And White (1960-1961), is a prime example of this approach and explores three-dimensionality by incorporating a range of materials, including acrylic and gravure on Formica, similar to woodblock printing. Through layering these composite materials, Pasmore creates a work that is as much an object as a picture, inviting the viewer to consider the physicality of the materials used in its creation. Linear Motif In Black And White is a seminal representation of Pasmore's oeuvre, showcasing his innovative approach to form, material, and perception.
This work is his auction record and sold for £329,000 (fees included) at Christie’s in June 2017.
Image © Sotheby's / The Studio of Ingres 1945-1947
The Studio of Ingres (1945-1946) is a significant work that reflects Victor Pasmore's artistic development from a representational artist to an abstract painter. The painting is titled after the celebrated French neo-classical painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and is an interpretation of his studio, featuring elements of his famous painting, “Odalisque.’’ Pasmore's composition is highly formal, showing carefully calculated relationships between form, line, and space, resulting in overlapping geometric shapes that create a sense of depth and three-dimensionality, as the muted colour palette emphasises the sensual and intimate atmosphere of the artist's studio. Intriguing about this work is how Pasmore mutes the body of the woman by abstracting her torso within the white ben linens foreshadowing his keen interest in the movement and aesthetics.
This painting's fusion of art historical references and aesthetics makes it a compelling work attesting to its price of £221,500 (fees included) at Sotheby's in June 1997, the second-highest price achieved for a Pasmore artwork.
Image © Christie's / Abstract in Indian Red, Crimson, Blue, Yellow, Green, Pink and Orange © Victor Pasmore 1957
This artwork marks a significant turning point in Victor Pasmore's artistic trajectory, symbolising his departure from representational painting techniques learned at the Euston Road School and embracing abstraction. It represents a convergence of diverse artistic influences, blending a vibrant colour palette reminiscent of American Abstract Expressionists with geometric forms evocative of British modern abstract artists like Terry Frost. In a manner akin to his English counterparts, Pasmore draws inspiration from the natural world, embarking on an aesthetic transformation inspired by cosmic grandeur.
Abstract in Indian Red, Crimson, Blue, Yellow, Green, Pink and Orange (1957) achieved a notable sale of £200,000 (fees included) at Christie's in October 2019, underscoring its artistic and historical significance.
Image © Christie's / Linear Image: The New Vitruvius © Victor Pasmore 1965-1967