John Nash CBE RA was born in London in 1893, the younger brother of artist Paul Nash. Without formal art training, John was encouraged by his brother to develop his draughtsmanship and work in watercolour, and the two held a successful joint exhibition in London in 1913, after which he was invited to become a founder-member of the London Group in 1914. The same year, he began working in oils and, whilst serving with the Artists’ Rifles during WWI painted many scenes of battles in which he had been involved. These included the famous ‘Over The Top’, which now hangs in the Imperial War Museum.
After the War, Nash's efforts went mainly into painting landscapes. Art historian Eric Newton said of him “If I wanted a foreigner to understand the mood of a typical English landscape, I would show him Nash's best watercolours."
A founder member of the Society of Wood Engravers in 1920, Nash was also an accomplished printmaker, producing woodcuts as illustrations for literary periodicals and books, often with an interest in botanical subjects.
John Nash began teaching at the Royal College of Art in 1945, and was elected an RA in 1951, later being given a CBE in 1964. His 1967 retrospective exhibition at the Royal Academy was the first for a living painter. Nash died in Colchester in 1977.
Exhibitions at Gallagher & Turner:
101 Years of British Art
15 September - 21 October 2017