Gordon Onslow Ford-Radiant Beings

October 27, 2001-January 19, 2001 the Herbert Palmer Gallery will present, Radiant Beings, paintings by artist Gordon Onslow Ford. Reception for the artist will be October 27, 2001 6-8pm.

Gordon Onslow Ford began his career as a surrealist artist in Paris where he worked with Matta, Tanguy, Paalen and Victor Brauner. In 1938, André Breton made him an official member of the Surrealist group.

He was born in 1912 to a family of artists in Great Britain. His early education was at the Royal Naval College. After numerous visits to Paris, he decided to study art. He studied with Fernand Léger and André Lhôte. He met frequently with the writer, Gertrude Stein

When World War II broke out, he went back to England, but later, like many other European surrealists, he moved to New York. Since he was the only English speaking Surrealist, he was asked to give a series of four lectures on surrealism and automatism at the New School for Social Research. Along with the lectures, Onslow Ford created surrealist exhibitions, and many New York painters who later became the first Abstract Expressionists attended his lectures.

In 1941, Onslow Ford married writer Jacqueline Johnson, and together they moved to Mexico to join other Surrealists who had moved there during the war. There he met painter/philosopher Wolfgang Paalen whom he had known from Surrealist groups in Paris, and they became very close friends.

Paalen was creating a new publication named, "DYN," and Johnson, who was an accomplished writer, became involved in editing the magazine. In the magazine, Onslow Ford and Paalen began to explore the deeper layers of the unconscious and moved surrealism in a new direction.

Onslow Ford continued painting in Mexico until 1947. In 1948, he and his wife moved to California where he was invited to present a retrospective show of his art at the San Francisco Museum of Art. The exhibition was called, "Toward the New Subject in Painting." With this exhibition, he presented his new direction in painting - "the exploration of inner worlds."

Later, in 1951, Paalen joined Onslow Ford in California and together with painter, Lee Mullican, they created an inspiring exhibition called, "Dynaton," which means "the possible," at the San Francisco Museum of Art. In addition, the exhibition contained a room of Pre-Columbian Art to honor the native ancestors and the land.

In 1958 , Onslow Ford built his home and several studios in the virgin forests of Inverness, California, and he has been working there ever since.

For further information and photos contact Susan Becker at (310) 278-6407 or