Gillian Ayres (1930-2018) studied at Camberwell School of Art between 1945 and 1950 before going on to a successful career as an abstract painter and teacher at schools including Winchester School of Art and Central Saint Martin's School of Art.

Gillian worked on vinyl and canvas, and was also a dedicated printmaker with published woodcut prints. Finding no inspiration in the figurative work that was promoted in the college at the time, she left and began to paint abstracts, such as this early work which encourages the viewer to consider the abstract shapes within daily life.

Gillian Ayres CBE RA, Someday, 2010. Part of the Paintings in Hospitals collection.

Gillian was best known for her signature style of abstraction on canvas with heavily layered and vibrant sections of pigmented oil paint. She is considered one of the leading British abstract painters of her generation, and exhibited internationally, including at the V&A and MoMA. She was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1989.

Key facts: We have two works by Gillian in the collection. One of the works was a very early work in the collection (it was accessioned in 1962).

See more from our art collection...