top of page

Artist:        Dorothy Mead (1928-1975)

Date:          1970

Medium:   Oil on canvas

Size:           95cm x 140cm

Details:     Rare and collectable

Dorothy Mead (1928-1975) Mid 20th century abstract oil painting.

  • A powerful abstract by this important, British artist. Dorothy Mead is now recognised as a significant figure in the development of British 20th century art. She was an uncompromising and driven painter, a pupil of David Bomberg, key member of The Borough Group of Artist’s and an excellent teacher. She died prematurely and subsequently, it has taken until recently to re-assess her output and place her in her rightful place amongst the most influential British painters of the post war period. Dorothy Mead’s work is held by The Tate.

    This large, oil on canvas is dated 1970 and executed toward the end of the painter’s life.

    Thick, impasto brushmarks dance across the canvas surface with a surprisingly, delicate touch.

    Condition is excellent. The piece measures 95cm x 140cm and housed in its original gilded, wooden trim frame.



    Dorothy Mead (1928-1975) Painter, draughtsman and etcher, born in London, where she continued to live for some years. Studied at South-East Essex Technical College, Dagenham, with David Bomberg, then followed him to the City Literary Institute (where she met Cliff Holden, with whom she was closely associated for many years) and the Borough Polytechnic, 1945–51. Attended Slade School of Fine Art as a mature student, 1956–9; had a strong influence on many students, including Mario Dubsky; gained the Steer Medal, 1958, and several major prizes; but left without a diploma because of her refusal to attend lectures and examinations on perspective, which she considered outdated. As a founder-member of the Borough Group Mead participated in Group shows and did much to disseminate Bomberg’s ideas in Britain and abroad, notably through her association with Andrew Forge.

    Mead was president of Young Contemporaries, 1958–9. She showed with LG from 1947, was elected in 1959 and was its first lady president, 1973–4, resigning in 1975 due to cancer. Worked extensively in Spain. London dealers showed no interest in Mead’s pictures, which were strongly influenced by Bomberg, and she never had a solo exhibition. A drawing of Dorothy Mead by David Bomberg and Richard Michelmore and three etchings by her were in a Borough Group show at Fine Art Associates, 1989; she was included in David Bomberg and his followers at Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne, 1991. There was a retrospective of paintings and works on paper, 1947–74, at the Boundary Gallery in 2005. Arts Council, London University and Tate Gallery hold her work.

    Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)




bottom of page