George Holt (1924 -2005) ‘Intuition and Spontaneity produce better results’

Biddle and Webb are delighted to be offering a collection of paintings from the late George W. Holt (25th December 1924 – 10th April 2005). A prolific West Midlands artist, Holt exhibited extensively across a span of over 30 years.

Holt began life in Salford, before his family moved to Wolverhampton at the age of 6. After apprenticing as a draftsman he followed a career in design and later as Senior Lecturer at Wolverhampton and Staffordshire Technical College, which became Wolverhampton University.

Taking early redundancy in 1983, Holt turned his full attention to his art, continuing his art classes and allowing himself the time to flourish.  By 1986, he had become a member of the Eagle Works Artists Group in Wolverhampton, later joining the Birmingham Art Trust.

From a quick glance at his paintings, which demonstrate his remarkable ability to master a number of mediums, such as printmaking, acrylic, collage and oil, to name a few, it is clear to see his undeniable influence from the St Ives School, in particular Terry Frost. This Abstract and distinctive method of working can be seen across his work, which he described in his own words as, ‘a synthesis of abstract elements in [which] aesthetic equilibrium results’.

From his own notes, Holt speaks fondly of his time as a student of artists, such as Doug Kerry, Bill Kimpton, Peter Trafford, Harry Turner and Christopher Bourne. Although each influential in their own way, Holt’s style and spontaneous technique developed under his own determination and passion. He spoke of spending up to six months on a painting under the ‘stern task master’, Harry Turner, learning to squeeze ‘every drop of juice’ ‘from a painting before you were allowed to pass on to the next one’. Regarding this period of enforcing the basic foundations of drawing with affection, Holt‘s personal style flourished perhaps more so under the supervision of Christopher Bourne, whom he owes ‘a lifetime of interest and pleasure now bordering on obsession’.

His black and white monoprints, a number of which are to be offered for auction at Biddle and Webb, are the last works of art Holt produced, in preparation for his final exhibition at Eagle Works Gallery, Wolverhampton. Sadly after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, he was unable to attend the opening and passed away two days later.

Later in the summer of 2005, Eagle Works honoured this prolific artist with a group show called, ‘Is it Real?’, curated and selected by Brendan Flynn, the then Keeper of Modern Art at Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, in his memory.

For any further information on George Holt or his paintings included in Biddle and Webb’s auction on 11th March, please contact Catherine White.

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