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© the estate of John Wells. Photo credit: Government Art Collection

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The simplicity and geometry of 'Composition' reflects the influence of early abstract artists Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth and Naum Gabo. John Wells worked as a doctor before moving in 1945 to Newlyn in Cornwall, where he devoted himself to painting and became heavily involved in the artistic community centred on St Ives in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Wells' earlier paintings were more concerned with surface texture and the representation of natural forms than his more hard-edged works of the 1960s and 1970s. His intention in works like 'Composition' was to reach a balance of line, colour and form, while maintaining a grounding in landscape and nature.

Government Art Collection





oil on canvas


H 50.5 x W 76 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased from Christie's, 1998

Work type



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Government Art Collection

Old Admiralty Building, Admiralty Place, London, Greater London SW1A 2BL England

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