James Lloyd

JAMES LLOYD (1905-1974)

Wild Strawberries  c.1965

watercolour and gouache

signed

14 x 20 ins (35.5 x 51 cm)

 

Lloyd was described by L.S.Lowry as the most important British naïve painter of today. He only began to paint seriously at the age of forty-eight, having worked in a variety of menial, agricultural and part-time jobs. His first exhibition was in 1958, at Arthur Jeffress Gallery, London’s home for naive and ‘primitive’ artists: with the demise of the eccentric Jeffress, Lloyd (with others from the gallery) joined London’s Portal Gallery, showing there from 1964 until his death. He became their most critically acclaimed artist. Born in Cheshire, he led a reclusive life in rural Yorkshire from the 1940s onwards. He was a countryman to the last, which was reflected in his choice of subject matter. He was championed by critics, dealers, and collectors from the outset, becoming something of a celebrity in the 1960s. He was the subject of Ken Russell’s 1963 film The Dotty World of James Lloyd, and was later intriguingly cast by Russell as the Douanier Rousseau in his biopic film about the French painter. In 1973, he won the International Award for best Primitive painter at Zagreb. A posthumous retrospective was held at Camden Arts Centre in 1977. His work is held in many museum collections in the UK and the USA.