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John Melville

John Melville is described by critic Michel Remy as ones of the "harbingers of surrealism" in Great Britain. As a self-taught painter, his choice of subject matter is broad, incorporating figures, portraits, still-life and landscapes, and working through the medium of oil and watercolour. From the 1930s to the 1950 he was a key member of the Birmingham Surrealists, a group that sought to align itself with the French surrealist movement.

His first solo exhibition was at the Wertheim Gallery in London 1932, after which he continued to show throughout London and the UK. While his relative isolation resulted in his paintings being somewhat neglected during his later life, they have begun to tinter back into fashion in recent years with his inclusion in a number of notable public exhibitions; including "Surrealism: Two Private Eyes" at the Guggenheim, New York 1999 and "Surrealism in Birmingham" in 2001.