Mural Design for a school in Birmingham, circa 1950, (Green over Purple)

SKU: 5926
Gouache, inscribed with ‘Green over purple’ 
12 1/4 x 21 3/4 in. (31 x 55.3 cm) 

Height – 31cm x Width – 55.3cm


The Artist’s family

Provenance: The Artist’s family

Venton was commissioned to paint a mural in a school in Birmingham in the early 1950’s The mural was executed using an encaustic painting technique.

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Patrick Venton
1925 - 1987

Venton was born and educated in Birmingham. He worked as a clerk for a short time before joining the Army (aged 18), but was invalided out after three years with serious clinical depression, for which he received electric shock treatment. His elder brother was killed at Arnhem, an event the family never really recovered from and which contributed to Venton’s state of mind. After being demobbed in 1946, he attended the Birmingham College of Art, where he met and married his wife Zena in 1951. In his early years he was interested in Surrealism and for a while had a painting room in the house of Conroy Maddox. Amongst Venton’s collection of books was a copy of Salvador Dali’s autobiography, which got placed in an old tea-chest during a house move and forgotten, only to be rediscovered many years later having surreally been infested and transformed into a wasps’ nest.

Venton lectured at Birmingham College of Art and later in London at Heatherley’s College of Art, but despite the appreciation and admiration he received from many leading contemporary artists of the time, Venton remained in the words of a colleague, “a very private person, an observer, diffident about exhibiting”. Venton’s work was included in the prestigious John Moores Painting Prize in 1957 and 1961 and it was during this period that Birmingham City Art Gallery and Walker Art Gallery (Liverpool) both acquired examples for their public collections. In 1966 he was given a solo show at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham. Four paintings were also exhibited in 2004 at the Ikon Gallery retrospective and for many visitors these works proved a revelation, offering a tantalizing glimpse of a mature and hitherto largely unknown talent.

Solo Exhibition
1966 – Ikon Gallery, Birmingham

Group Exhibitions
1957 – John Moores Painting Prize, Liverpool (work purchased for the perminent collection)
1960 – Six Painters, Royal Society of Artists, Birmingham
1961 – John Moores Painting Prize, Liverpool

Work in Public Collections
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; Birmingham City Museum & Art Gallery, Birmingham