Artist profile

Prunella Clough

Prunella Clough is widely appreciated as one of the most significant British artists of the post-war period. Clough’s work is distinctive and private and yet always responsive to what was going on around her – artistically and visually.

Her work consists of paintings, collages, drawings and reliefs and they demonstrate the characteristic development of her work through her various influences – notably cubism and European abstraction. Her abstract works often use bright, contrasting colours and sometimes found objects. They reveal her continual and personal preoccupation with formal qualities – composition, colour and texture - and her delight in the edginess and abstraction of everyday objects and experiences.

Prunella Clough was born in London in 1919 – she studied at Chelsea School of Art and during the war worked as a draughtsman of maps and charts. She was a highly influential artist and teacher to the post-war generation. In 1999, three months before her death, she won the prestigious Jerwood painting prize. In 2007 she had a major exhibition at the Tate Gallery, London.


Born in Chelsea, London. Her father worked for the Board of Trade and her aunt was the architect designer Eileen Gray
Attended Chelsea School of Art (part-time). Studied design, life drawing and sculpture (where Henry Moore was a tutor)
Worked in Office of War Information (USA) drawing charts and maps and working on magazine layouts
Studied with Victor Pasmore at Camberwell School of Art (part-time)
Taught part-time at Chelsea School of Art
Taught part-time at Wimbledon School of Art
Awarded Jerwood Painting Prize
Died 26 December in London

Selected exhibitions

Prunella Clough, Annely Juda Fine Art, London
Unknown Countries, Jerwood Gallery, Hastings
Prunella Clough, Osborne Samuel, London
Painting, Relief, Collage and Drawing, Annely Juda Fine Art, London
50 Years of Making Art, Annely Juda Fine Art, London
Tate Britain, London: touring to Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, Norwich; Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal
University of Essex, Colchester. Arts Council exhibition touring to Peter Muni Arts Centre, Pontypridd; Glynn Vivien Art Gallery, Swansea; Peter Scott Gallery, Lancaster; Ropewalk Contemporary Art and Craft Centre, Barton upon Humber; Plymouth City Museum
Camden Arts Centre, London: touring to Oriel 31, Newtown, Powys
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh: touring to Serpentine Gallery, London

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