Joash Woodrow (1927 – 2006)
After studying at the Royal College of Art in the early 1950s, Woodrow retreated to live and paint at the family home in North Leeds, embarking on a lifetime’s artistic endeavour in increasing solitude and with astonishing perseverance. A bizarre series of events leading to the rediscovery of his lifetimes revealed what is now considered by many, to be the work of one of the most significant and visionary British artists of the post war period.
The paintings of this enigmatic artist were exhibited for the first time in 2002. Since then his work has attracted widespread acclaim from artists, critics and collectors, with exhibitions held in numerous public art galleries in the U.K; his paintings now in an increasing number of major public and private collections.
Jackie Wullschlager, Chief Art Critic, Financial Times:…“Woodrows transformation of banality is as lyrical as Chagalls …proclaimsing an unknown master, linked in unbroken tradition to mid – 20th century~European Modernism: a personal vision triumphant.”
“If he had not been a recluse, would dealers, collectors, have squashed Woodrow’s unique vision, in which so many strands of 20th century art and culture converged, or streamlined and developed it?… “There are people who love nature even though they are cracked and ill”, wrote Van Gogh to his brother; “those are the painters”.
Philip Vann, Galleries Magazine: “Some of the most powerfully original and expressive works of the last decades” “Just as Lowry is known as the visual poet of Salford and Eardley similarly of the Gorbals, so Woodrow is now being revealed as the surely unrivalled painter of 20th century Leeds”