Osborne Samuel is one of the leading galleries dealing in Twentieth Century British Art from the beginnings of Modernism in Britain after the First World War through to the end of the 20th Century. However, the core of the gallery’s dealing lies in the post 1945 period with the emergence of St Ives in Cornwall as a centre of progressive painting and sculpture with the arrival there of Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth in 1939.
We keep a good stock of work from the predominant St Ives artists including Peter Lanyon, Bryan Wynter, Terry Frost, Patrick Heron, Roger Hilton, John Wells and others who were frequent visitors to St Ives or had links with Nicholson and Hepworth. These include Victor Pasmore, Adrian Heath and William Scott.
The gallery has mounted some critically acclaimed exhibitions of significant art historical relevance including Nine Abstract Artists in 2005 followed up in 2007 with Towards a Rational Aesthetic – Constructive Art in Post-war Britain . The former charted the development of post-war abstract art in Britain and celebrated 50 years since the publication of Lawrence Alloway’s book of the same title. In autumn 2006 the gallery mounted a major exhibition The Rhythm of Things encompassing the paintings and drawings of Edward Wadsworth. This also celebrated the publication of the catalogue raisonné
Other strands of British art are also represented, such as the Neo-Romantics artists that emerged in the late 1940s and 1950s under Graham Sutherland: Prunella Clough, Keith Vaughan, Michael Ayrton and John Craxton to name a few. The early work of Alan Reynolds from the 1950s and 1960s is also well represented by the gallery.
In May 2006 we presented a major show of the works of Peter Kinley from the late 1950s through to his death in 1988. Of course sculpture is also one of our strengths particularly the work of Henry Moore and Lynn Chadwick.
In 2007 the gallery mounted one of the most comprehensive exhibitions of Keith Vaughan accompanied with a substantial catalogue and essay by Andrew Lambirth and a transcribed conversation between the late John Ball and Sir Nicholas Goodison. In 2012, to commemorate the centenary of Vaughan’s birth the gallery again mounted an equally important exhibition including works from private collections previously unseen.
Our annual exhibitions of 20th century British art coincides, when possible, with the Masterpiece fair at the Royal Hospital South Lawns each June/July. And we always show a good selection at the 20/21 British Art Fair held annually each September at the Royal College of Art.
Catalogues from many of these exhibitions are available for sale in the Publication section of this website. They are illustrated with short essays on each work.