Robert Medley, born 1905 in London, studied at Byam Shaw School in 1923-24, briefly at Royal Academy Schools in 1924, at Slade School of Fine Art and in Paris from 1926 to 1928. He assisted Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, and showed with the London Group from 1929. His first solo show was held at London Artist’s Association in 1932 and he exhibited at Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1963. His work is represented in Tate Gallery and other public collections.
After the war, Medley was the first one of Britain’s important representational painters with the liability to abstraction, but his work never lost touch entirely with observable reality.
In 1971 Bryan Robertson, the celebrated director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery, wrote that Robert Medley stood alongside Henry Moore, Ben Nicholson, Graham Sutherland, Francis Bacon and Edward Burra as one of the most gifted and independent artists of an older generation.
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