Just found out that John Virtue….an artist of some repute, was born here in my home town of Accrington.
Born in 1947, he specialises in monochrome landscapes. He is honorary Professor of Fine Art at the University of Plymouth, and from 2003–2005 was the sixth Associate Artist at London’s National Gallery. Virtue trained at the Slade School of Fine Art from 1965–69.
In 1971 he moved to Green Haworth, (which is about half a mile from where I live) painting landscapes for a couple of years before abandoning painting in favour of pen and ink drawings comprising dense networks of lines supposedly “akin to the work of Samuel Palmer”.
From 1978 he worked as a postman, giving this up in 1985 to work as a full-time artist. He lived in Devon from 1988–2004. Maintaining a studio in Exeter, he produced works around the Exe estuary, before being offered the post of Associate Artist (the sixth) at the National Gallery in 2005. The scheme engages contemporary artists to produce work that “connects to the National Gallery Collection” and demonstrates “the continuing inspiration of the Old Master tradition”.
Some of Virtue’s local art:
The Coppice is a part of Hameldon Hill in Lancashire
Green Haworth, the area John Virtue used to live in.
Just down the road from Green Haworth.
I’m not sure I am over impressed by his work, and I certainly wouldn’t have put it in the same class as Palmer. But then what do I know? I’m not an art critic. I just know what I like..or don’t.
Below is a video showing John and some of his later monochrome stuff. He seems to draw mainly pictures of the London area these days.
What do you think?