1927 - 2006
Born in Leeds in 1927 to Polish Jewish parents, Joash Woodrow was number seven of nine siblings. Studying art at Leeds College of Art and from 1950-53 Joash was to win a scholarship to The Royal College of Art, where is contemporaries included Peter Blake, John Bratby, Leon Kossoff and Frank Auerbach. Returning north and back home after graduation, Joash was to fall into a somewhat reclusive lifestyle in the decades which followed, albeit one where he found solace and meaning in his paintings and drawings.
In 2001 in a chance discovery, the painter Christopher Wood came across a copy of an issue of the Victorian ‘Magazine of Art’ that had been owned by Joash Woodrow, who had reworked the illustrations by hand, using paint, collage and drawings, and so reinventing the magazine. He showed the magazine to a conservator and gallery owner Andrew Stewart which led to him vising Joash’s home to discover the extensive collection of work never seen before; a life’s achievement.
The first exhibition of his work followed at 108 Fine Art Gallery in Harrogate in 2002, followed soon after by the Leeds Art Gallery. Further exhibitions were held at Manchester Art Gallery, Ben Uri Gallery, London and the Royal College of Art in 2005, followed in 2009 by an exhibition at the Fine Art Society.
A truly inventive and important artist, works by Joash Woodrow are held in several public art collections including, Leeds City Art Gallery, The Stanley and Audrey Burton Art Gallery, University of Leeds, Manchester Art Gallery, Ben Uri Gallery, the University of Hull and Pallant House.
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