Michael Ayrton

(British, 1921–1975)

icarus falls by michael ayrton

Michael Ayrton

Icarus Falls, 1959

Price on Request

Biography

Timeline

Sculptor, painter in a variety of media and printmaker of figures and landscapes; illustrator, draughtsman, theatrical designer; film maker, writer and art critic. He studied at art schools in London, lived in Vienna in 1936 and between 1937 and 1939 spent long periods in France, sharing a studio with John Minton in Paris where they studied with Eugene Berman. He also worked in Chirico's studio and in 1938 went to Les Baux with Minton and Michael Middleton.
He travelled widely througout his life, particularly in France, Italy and Greece and he first exhibited with Minton in 1942 at the Leicester Galleries. He subsequently showed regularly in London galleries and internationally.
His work is represented in public collections including the Tate Gallery and MOMA, New York. His work is characterised by its range: he illustrated many books and his interest in theatre design was stimulated by collaborations with Minton and Constant Lambert. As a film maker he worked with Basil Wright and his own writing ranged from novels to art criticism.
In Vienna in 1936 he was influenced by Flemish art but later in the mid 1940s his neo-romantic landscapes show the influence of Sutherland and Nash. He began to sculpt in bronze in the early 1950's, receiving some advice from Henry Moore and visited Cumae in 1956-7 and Greece in 1958, turning to Greek myth as his principal source of inspiration particularly the legends of Daedelus and Icarus, the Minotaur and the image of the maze. His powerful style sought to reinterpret mythological ideas in terms of the figure.