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British painter, teacher, and administrator, born at Methil, Fife. He spent several years of his career on the Continent and was one of the most international in spirit among British artists of his generation and one of the relatively few to make a reputation outside Britain. After studying painting at Edinburgh College of Art, 1932–36, and history of art at Edinburgh University, 1936–7, he spent a year in Europe on a travelling scholarship, working under *Léger in Paris for several months. During the Second World War he served in the Royal Signal Corps in Europe and the Middle East, but he found time to paint and in 1944 he had one-man shows in Florence and Siena. In 1946–7 he worked in Germany for the commission dealing with the country's monuments and art in the wake of the war, and from 1947 to 1950 he lived in Paris, where he became a member of the *Cobra group in 1948.

Text source: A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art (Oxford University Press)

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