Minton, John: ‘Time Was Away. A notebook in Corsica’ – Village Street
One of a series of 8 jewel-like lithographs on woven paper illustrating scenes in Corsica. Minton visited the island with Alan Ross in the late summer of 1947 to work on their book, ‘Time Was Away’, Minton prepared the illustrations and Ross the text. It was published by John Lehmann in the following year and a group of Minton’s drawings of views in Corsica was exhibited at the Lefevre Gallery in February 1949. The illustration is newly framed.
Artist: John Minton, (1917-1957)
Title and date: ‘Time Was Away. A notebook in Corsica’ – Village Street
Size: 15.5 x 22.5 cms.
A painter and illustrator born at Great Shelford, Cambridgeshire. Minton attended St. John’s Wood Art School from 1935-38, studying under P.F. Millard. During the 8 months prior to the outbreak of World War II he spent time in Paris and visited Les Baux in Provence with Michael Ayrton and Michael Middleton and adopted many of the techniques employed by the French neo-romantics. Back in England by 1940 he had registered as a conscientious objector and in 1941 entered the Pioneer Corps.
In 1943, he was released from the army and for the next three years shared a studio with Robert Colquhoun and Robert MacBryde in London. During this period, the influence of Graham Sutherland gave way to a Picasso-inspired stylisation.
He taught at Camberwell School of Arts & Crafts, Central School of Arts and Crafts and finally the Royal College of Art. He staged his first solo exhibition at Roland, Browse and Delbanco in 1945, but afterwards moved to the Lefevre Gallery, holding solo exhibitions there in 1945, 1949, 1950, 1953 and 1956. He also executed theatre designs and a mass of illustrative work for magazines and books, notably for the publishing houses owned by John Lehmann and Paul Elek. He also drew for The Listener, Penguin New Writing, Liiliput and Vogue amongst many. Minton made sorties into almost every field of design, from posters for Ealing Studios and London Transport to wallpaper, the Chelsea Arts Ball to settings for Don Juan in Hell at the Royal Court Theatre during the year before his death.
He was associated with Soho and was renowned, not only as an artist but also for his profligate generosity and wit. An innate melancholy, combined with his troubled personal life, led him to take his own life at the age of forty. Examples of his work are held by many collections.