Fred Yates (1922-2008)

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About

Fred Yates

Fred Yates

1922-2008

The John Martin Gallery has been the main dealer for Fred Yates for over 20 years and held many great exhibitions of his work. If you would like more information on Fred Yates, his life and work, please contact the gallery. A web-site has been set up to archive memories of Fred www.fredyates.org please feel free to add any comment or anecdotes of your own.
The gallery is also interested in collecting images of Fred’s work and in purchasing key works.

The work of self-taught or naïve artists in Britain has always maintained a huge popular appeal. Sadly our national galleries have been painfully slow in recognizing their significance and still treat the work as something on the fringes of British art. If that tired and overused word ‘genius’ resided anywhere amongst British artists of the last century it was amongst those artists who worked utterly alone like L.S Lowry and Alfred Wallis. Certainly no other artists had a greater impact.

Fred Yates is probably one of the best-known recent ‘naïve’ artists. You cannot set out to be a naïve artist – the whole point about the naives is that it is impossible to un-teach artistic training, so it must be an entirely natural step. Like Wallis and Lowry, Yates always lived alone and painted in complete isolation. He painted for ordinary people and his work displays all the humour and joy that he knew would be popular. Yet underneath the popular subjects, lay an artistic ability which is surprisingly sophisticated – he could handle huge quantities of thick paint with an extraordinary delicacy of touch. So thick are some of his paintings that they can take up to two years to dry completely.

Fred Yates died on the 7th July 2008 – he is greatly missed by us all.

Born in 1922, Fred Yates grew up in Urmston, a suburb of Manchester. His career as an insurance clerk was cut short by the outbreak of war and he served in the Grenadier Guards until 1945 when he returned to Manchester as a painter and decorator.

Untutored, but with tremendous self-discipline, Fred began to paint pictures of the rich industrial architecture of Manchester, the red brick terraces and the commotion and humour of street life – a theme that the artist is still concerned with, even in his recent paintings. He subsequently enrolled on a teacher training course at Bournemouth College of Art and in 1950 won a travelling scholarship to Rome and Florence.

He taught for twenty years battling continuously against artistic sophistication, for him, beauty resided in simplicity and a child’s mind. In 1969 Fred gave up teaching and moved to Cornwall to enable him to devote all his energy to painting. While he still painted scenes, remembered from his childhood in Manchester, he also worked on sunnier landscapes, new faces and activities that surrounded him.

His paintings are included in many private and public collections including Brighton and Hove Art Gallery, Liverpool University, the University of Warwick, Torquay Art Gallery and Russell Coates Gallery Bournemouth.

Archive

<i>Waiting for the Ferry</i> Oil on Canvas 36½ x 25½ ins,
<i>You Can’t Catch a Butterfly</i> Oil on Canvas 36 x 28½ ins,
<i>Our Father Who Art In Heaven</i> c. 1977 Oil on Board 44½ x 43 ins,
<i>The Cottage Garden</i> 1975 c. Oil on Panel 25 x 29¾ ins,
<i>My Garden Rancon</i> Oil on Canvas 35 x 45¾ ins,
<i>Flower Constellation</i> Oil on Canvas 18 x 36 ins,
<i>Hidden Lake, Somerset</i> Oil on Canvas 23¾ x 32 ins,
<i>Flowers in Orange Vase</i> oil on Canvas 15 x 14 ins,
<i>The Puffer Train</i> 2008 Oil on canvas 32 x 25½ ins, (81.00 x 65.00 cms)
<i>Lighthouse Boat, South Coast</i> c1974 Oil on board 30 x 36 ins, (76.20 x 91.44 cms)
<i>Manchester Garden</i> 2008 Oil on canvas 19¾ x 24 ins, (50.01 x 61.01 cms)
<i>I am normally gentle and kind, this has attack and great strength</i> Oil on canvas 39½ x 39½ ins, (100.33 x 100.33 cms)
<i>Irises</i> 2008 Oil on canvas 23½ x 23½ ins, (59.99 x 59.99 cms)
<i>The Forest</i> Oil on canvas 24 x 30 ins, (61.01 x 76.50 cms)
<i>Stockport AFC</i> c1994 Oil on canvas 23¼ x 31 ins, (59.06 x 78.74 cms)
<i>The Heaven Boat</i> 1988 Oil on canvas 60 x 42 ins, (152.40 x 106.68 cms)
<i>The Sailor’s Return</i> 1976 Oil on canvas 47 x 52½ ins, (119.38 x 133.35 cms)
<i>Margate Pier</i> Oil on canvas 15 x 18 ins, (38.10 x 45.72 cms)
<i>Beach Scene, Cornwall</i> c.1986 Oil on board 47½ x 57 ins, (120.65 x 144.78 cms)
<i>Going to the Beach</i> c1998 Oil on canvas 30 x 40 ins, (76.20 x 101.60 cms)
<i>Self Portrait</i> c1970 Oil on board 4¾ x 3½ ins, (12.07 x 8.89 cms)
<i>The Wedding</i> Oil on canvas 38½ x 51½ ins, (97.79 x 130.81 cms)
<i>Manchester Stars</i> Oil on canvas 19¾ x 24 ins, (50.17 x 60.96 cms)
<i>Manchester Town Hall</i> Oil on canvas 38¼ x 51½ ins, (97.16 x 130.81 cms)
<i>Christ Arising (at village fair)</i> 2008 Oil on canvas 39½ x 39½ ins, (100.33 x 100.33 cms)
<i>Fowey Ferry (Penlee House)</i> 2007 Oil on canvas 25¾ x 32 ins, (65.41 x 81.28 cms)
<i>A Strange Thought Came to Me</i> Oil on canvas 51 x 32 ins, (129.54 x 81.28 cms)
<i>Tall Ships Race, Fowey (Penlee House)</i> 2007 Oil on canvas 28¾ x 36 ins, (73.03 x 91.44 cms)
<i>St Michael’s Mount</i> 2008 Oil on canvas 21¼ x 25½ ins, (54.00 x 65.00 cms)
<i>Flower Constellation</i> 2008 Oil on canvas 31½ x 31½ ins, (80.01 x 80.01 cms)
<i>Manchester Street Party</i> 2008 Oil on canvas 31½ x 31½ ins, (80.01 x 80.01 cms)
<i>A Trip to the Brontë’s Home</i> Oil on canvas 31½ x 31½ ins, (80.01 x 80.01 cms)
<i>Wild Flowers in a White Jug</i> 2007 Oil on canvas 25½ x 21¼ ins, (64.77 x 53.98 cms)
<i>The Estuary</i> 2007 Oil on canvas 35 x 45¾ ins, (89.00 x 116.00 cms)
<i>The Enchanted Forest</i> 2005 Oil on canvas 39 x 39 ins, (99.06 x 99.06 cms)
<i>Wild Flowers, Cornwall</i> Oil on canvas 27 x 35 ins, (68.58 x 88.90 cms)
<i>Down to the Sea Towards Marazion</i> Oil on board 24½ x 35½ ins, (62.23 x 90.17 cms)
<i>J’aime Dubuffet</i> 2006 Oil on canvas 16 x 13 ins, (40.64 x 33.02 cms)
<i>My First Visitor</i> 2004 Oil on canvas 18 x 15 ins, (45.72 x 38.10 cms)
<i>On the Sun Hills Near Newquay</i> c.1980 Oil 15¼ x 11¾ ins, (38.74 x 29.85 cms)
<i>Self Portrait</i> c.1978 Oil on board 3 x 3 ins, (7.62 x 7.62 cms)
<i>Liverpool Waterfront from Birkenhead</i> 1995 Oil on board 15½ x 21½ ins, (39.37 x 54.61 cms)
<i>Mad Bessie</i> c.1958 Oil on board 27½ x 17 ins, (69.85 x 43.18 cms)
<i>Provencal Landscape II</i> 2006 Oil on canvas 31½ x 31½ ins, (80.01 x 80.01 cms)
<i>Spring Blossoms, Le Moulin</i> Oil on canvas 24 x 24 ins, (60.96 x 60.96 cms)
<i>Summer Day, La Motte</i> 2004 Oil on canvas 18 x 15 ins, (45.72 x 38.10 cms)
<i>Red Jungle</i> Oil on canvas 31½ x 31½ ins, (79.86 x 79.86 cms)
<i>A Strange Portrait</i> 2006 Oil on canvas 25½ x 21¼ ins, (64.77 x 53.98 cms)
<i>His Own Little World</i> Oil on canvas 23¼ x 31½ ins, (59.06 x 80.01 cms)
<i>Girl on a Day Bed</i> Oil on board 10 x 13 ins, (25.40 x 33.02 cms)
<i>The Locomotive</i> 2007 Oil on Canvas 31½ x 31½ ins,
<i>The Passing Train</i> 2008 Oil on Canvas 15 x 18 ins, 38 x 46 cms
<i>The Edge of Town</i> 2007 Oil on Canvas 32 x 45¾ ins, 81 x 116 cms
<i>The Flower Show</i> 2008 Oil on Canvas 21¼ x 25½ ins, 54 x 65 cms
<i>The Boating Pond</i> 2008 Oil on Canvas 38¼ x 57½ ins, 96 x 146 cms
<i>Hanging Around</i> 2008 oil on canvas 31½ x 31½ ins, 80 x 80 cm
<i>Body Beautiful</i> 2007 Oil on Canvas 16¼ x 10¾ ins,

Biography

Solo Exhibitions

2008 Muck and Brass, John Martin Gallery, London
2007 Book Launch, John Martin Gallery, London
2006 Flowers and Faces, John Martin Gallery, London
2005 Fred Yates at ArtLONDON, John Martin Gallery, London
2003 Twelve Months in Provence, John Martin Gallery, London
2003 The Lost Paintings, John Martin Gallery, London
2002 80th Birthday Exhibition

Group Exhibitions

2008 London Art Fair, John Martin Gallery, London
2006 New Year Exhibition, John Martin Gallery, London
2006 In to the Jungle – A Homage to Rousseau, John Martin Gallery, London
2005 Summer Exhibition, John Martin Gallery, London
2005 Fred Yates at ArtLONDON, John Martin Gallery, London

Publications

Films

Fred Yates

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Photos