During a productive half century on the Channel Island of Guernsey, Cornish born and Chelsea trained Larry Ham (1934 – 2007) perfected a powerful and distinctive semi-abstraction landscape style. His gritty physical paint handling and natural ability to reduce and eliminate unnecessary detail and create compelling compositions struck at the heart of the mainly maritime themes that inspired him. Using an Anglo-French style mid-way between post-war St Ives abstraction and an earlier French colourism derived from Van Gogh, Matisse and Nicolas de Stael, Ham created individual variations on some of the greatest 20th century pictorial art.
Isolated in his Channel Island haven from, but informed by, the epicentre of metropolitan modernism, Ham produced a style that was both distinct, eye catching and individual yet wholly a part of the cultural, artistic and social zeitgeist of his time.
By chance the art critic and author Peter Davies, a painter and printmaker of less daring abstraction, was commissioned by Ham’s family to write his biography. As a recognised author on Cornish art Davies warmed to a lavish, wayward talent who ‘got away’ and fully deserved to be promoted, happily to good and successful effect.
The biography is available through The ARThouse Gallery
Paddy at the Pompidou
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