Exhibition by Devon-born artist opens at Barnstaple's museum

Wilfred Avery artwork

A new exhibition celebrating the work of Devon-born artist Wilfred Avery has opened at the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon.

In the first exhibition of Wilfred’s work since his death in 2016, the Museum is proud to display 'Wilfred Avery and the Unpredictable Image'; a selection of newly acquired works, alongside loans from private collections and national institutions. Many of these distinctive pieces have never before been seen by the public.

Wilfred Avery (1926-2016) focused on two subjects in his career: landscape and the male body. The inspiration he found in his childhood landscape became a thread that ran through his sixty year career; wherever he was living, and whatever he was painting, Wilfred found himself consistently looking back to North Devon. By the end of his life he had unified his two chosen subjects into one compelling whole.

The South Molton-born painter and collagist was largely unrecognised in his lifetime. This was exacerbated by the close relationship he had with his twin brother, the painter and later novelist Samuel Lock. Living together until the age of 32, the pair remained a self-sufficient unit throughout their life. His work is now garnering long-awaited and well-deserved interest by public institutions and private collectors alike.

Museum Manager, Alison Mills says: "We are proud and excited to be exhibiting the work of such a hugely talented artist, including some pieces never before seen by the public. It is particularly special that Avery hails from South Molton, and the very familiar North Devon landscape can be seen in his enigmatic work. We would urge visitors to come along and enjoy this beautiful collection while we are fortunate enough to have it."

The exhibition will run until 27 January 2024. Museum opening hours are Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm and entry is free. 

To keep up to date with events happening at the museum, visit their website or Facebook page.