William Gear RA (d. 1997)

William Gear, painter of abstracts in oil, watercolour and gouache, was born in Fife, Scotland, on 2nd August 1915, the son of Janet Gear and Porteous Gear, a coal miner. He studied at Edinburgh College of Art from 1932 – 6, gaining a postgraduate scholarship that enabled him to study art at Edinburgh University from 1936 -7. Winning a travelling scholarship enabled him to visit Italy, Greece, and the Balkans and to study in Paris with Fernand Leger.

 

After serving throughout the Second World War as an officer in the Royal Corps of Signals he settled in Paris where he met many of the leading post-war Parisian artists. After meeting Appel, Constant, Corneille and Jorn, he joined the COBRA group, Europe’s most important avant-garde movement of the mid – twentieth century. COBRA is an acronym based on Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam in acknowledgement of the founders’ nationalities and to emphasise the internationalism of their attitude.

 

The COBRA painters emphasised spontaneity – an image, they felt, should appear on the canvas as naturally and quickly as a sudden change of weather in the world beyond the window. And it ought to be as impersonal as a thunderstorm.

 

William Gear exhibited with the group in Amsterdam and Copenhagen in 1949; however, beyond his association with COBRA he had a long and successful career in his own right. For example, he was awarded a Festival of Britain Purchase Prize in 1951 and his work appeared at the 1954 Venice Biennale. He became a Senior Royal Academician in 1995 and his work is held in many major public and private collections around the world.

 

From quite early in his career Gear demonstrated a fondness for heavy black line as a division of colour – predominantly reds, yellows and oranges. He acknowledged that this probably derived in part from his childhood – subconscious memories of the pit-head winding gear and the engineering marvel of the Forth Bridge. He regarded structure – the architecture, like a building, the scaffolding as the most essential basis of his painting. William Gear, RA is essential viewing for all those interested in twentieth-century British art.

William Gear – Black Trap No 3 (1990)

William Gear

Black Trap No 3 (1990)

Acrylic

13 x 18 inches

sold

William Gear – Black Meeting (1989)

William Gear

Black Meeting (1989)

Mixed Media

15 x 11 inches

sold

William Gear – Sharp Interlude (1980)

William Gear

Sharp Interlude (1980)

Acrylic

30 x 22 inches

sold

William Gear – Approaching Forms (1975)

William Gear

Approaching Forms (1975)

Mixed Media

11 x 15 inches

sold

William Gear – Double Stripe (1971)

William Gear

Double Stripe (1971)

Screen Prints

15 x 22 inches

sold

William Gear – Yellow Centre (1967)

William Gear

Yellow Centre (1967)

Screen Print

31 x 23 inches

sold

William Gear – Summer Stripes II (1967)

William Gear

Summer Stripes II (1967)

Screen Print

31 x 23 inches

sold

William Gear – Summer Stripes (1967)

William Gear

Summer Stripes (1967)

Screen Print

31 x 23 inches

sold

William Gear – Triumvirate (1967)

William Gear

Triumvirate (1967)

Mixed Media

15 x 11 inches

sold

William Gear – Yellow Spike (1962)

William Gear

Yellow Spike (1962)

Screen Print

31 x 23 inches

sold

William Gear – Tree Image (1962)

William Gear

Tree Image (1962)

Screen Print

31 x 23 inches

sold

William Gear – Fireworks (1958)

William Gear

Fireworks - 1958

Screen Print

28 x 20 inches

sold

William Gear – Imposition (1956)

William Gear

Imposition - 1956

Lino Cut

19 x 28 inches

sold

William Gear – Linking Verticals (1956)

William Gear

Linking Verticals - 1956

Relief Print

22 x 15 inches

sold

William Gear – Dissolving Form (1955)

William Gear

Dissolving Form - 1955

Relief Print

23 x 18 inches

sold

William Gear – Still Life (1955)

William Gear

Still Life (1955)

Relief Print

23 x 15 inches

sold

William Gear – Marine Grid (1952)

William Gear

Marine Grid (1952)

Gouache

15 x 11 inches

sold

William Gear – Orange / Black (1952)

William Gear

Orange / Black (1952)

Screen Print

22 x 15 inches

sold

William Gear – Trellis (1952)

William Gear

Trellis (1952)

Screen Print

15 x 22 inches

sold

William Gear – Christmas Landscape II (1949)

William Gear

Christmas Landscape II (1949)

Lithograph

10 x 13 inches

sold