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Wilhelmina Barns-Graham

Artist Biography

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham (1912-2004) was one of the foremost painters working in St Ives after moving there in 1940. Her paintings, alongside those of her contemporaries that comprise the St Ives School, contributed greatly to the development of Modernist British painting in the mid to late twentieth century

Born in St Andrews in 1912, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham studiedat Edinburgh College of Art from 1931 to 1937 and it is here that her interestin abstract art was first sparked. She moved to St Ives in Cornwall in 1940where she joined an established colony of modernist artists, providing her witha sympathetic environment for her developing work. From this time onwards sheexplored different methods to try to find her own visual language.

In 1960, on inheriting a house in Balmungo, Wilhelmina’s visits to Scotland became more frequent and she would eventually spend a part of every year in Scotland, thus re-establishing her Scottish artistic links. It was here in Scotland that she would die in January 2004. She is buried inEastern Cemetery, St Andrews.

On her death in 2004 Wilhelmina bequeathed her entire estate to The Barns-Graham Charitable Trust, which she had established in 1987, and it is with thanks to the Trust and their kind co-operation that we are able to bring you the incredible works in this show.

"In my paintings I want to express the joy and importance of colour, texture, energy and vibrancy, with an awareness of space and construction. A celebration of life – taking risks so creating the unexpected."

A sentiment that we believe canclearly also be felt in these incredibly beautiful prints.



Selected Exhibitions