James Wood (1889 - 1975)

Landscape with tree, circa 1920

SKU: 1023
Watercolour over charcoal and pencil.

Height – 19cm x Width – 15.3cm


As an artist and intellectual,Wood was fascinated by the treatment of
form and colour’ and the great advances made by the artists of the
last generation’. Throughout his life he explored
theories about colour and especially the relationship between sound and
colour, which was the subject of a series of articles he published in
The Cambridge Magazine between January and June 1918, in which, as he
wrote,the whole problem was dealt with by a number of experts,
psychologists, physicists and artists, in collaboration’. Wood was one of the earliest collectors of Kandinsky.¬† With I.A.
Richards and C.K. Ogden as co-authors, Wood went on to publish The
Foundation of Aesthetics (1922).

In an article on the influence of Kandinsky on British Art,  Adrian Glew wrote of Wood as follows:

Whilst most of these artists moved
on to different ends – Nevinson would launch the Futurist manifesto
with Marinette several months later – the most specific, enduring, yet
least known influence of Kandinsky on British artists at that time was
on James Wood.  He had absorbed the lessons on colour theory,
particularly those establishing correspondences between colour and
musical tones, when studying at Percyval-Hart’s art school in Paris in
1909, …. . These views were mirrored in Wood’s own paintings, where
the colour correspondences serve specific functions and where the image
vibrates and resonates beyond the canvas

Work by Wood is in the collection of the Yale Centre for British Art


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James Wood
1889 - 1975

Painter, draughtsman, writer and aesthete, born in Southport, Lancashire. From 1908-11 he read history at Cambridge University, then in Paris, after studying etching, pursued painting with Percyval Tudor-Hart before going to Munich. During World War I he was in the army and Royal Flying Corps, later working on battleship camouflage. Among Wood’s writings after World War I were The Foundations of Aesthetics, written with C. K. Ogden and I. A. Richards. He also wrote on colour harmony, a favourite topic, and in 1926 published New World Vistas, an autobiographical work. From the 1930s Wood became increasingly fascinated by Persian Art; he learn Persian and subsequently became art adviser to the Persian government. His own paintings were influenced by Kandinsky, and he showed at Leicester and Zwemmer Galleries in solo exhibitions. After 1955 he rarely exhibited, but painted several portraits of Cambridge Academics. Throughout the war years Wood lived in a remote cottage above Llantony, Monmouthshire. After the war he lived mainly in his Hampstead house, where his studio was situated, though spent some of his time in his wife’s house in rural Gloucestershire with occasional visits to Llantony. Wood was married to a painter, Elisabeth Robertson, who had previously been the wife of the artist and writer Humphrey Slater.

In 1980 Blond Fine Art held a retrospective.


SKU: 5745

James Wood (1889 - 1975)

Multi coloured dots, version one, on a grey ground, circa 1920


SKU: 2915

James Wood (1889 - 1975)

Study for Gamekeeper and Cherubs


SKU: 177

James Wood (1889 - 1975)

Self-portrait, c.1918