60 years on, pioneering painter Martin Froy returns to Leeds

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In the 1950s, the University of Leeds introduced its innovative Gregory Fellowships in poetry, fine art and music — the first artist-in-residence programme of its kind at a UK university. Artist Martin Froy was its first Gregory Fellow in Painting between 1951 and 1954, selected by an advisory committee which included T.S. Eliot, Hebert Read, Henry Moore and Professor Bonamy Dobrée.

Sixty years after Froy completed his Fellowship in Leeds, the University has invited him back to showcase his artwork of the 1950s which so captivated the first Gregory Fellowship Advisory Committee, and also to explore how the Leeds residency affected his later practice. Placing Froy within the rich milieu of British figurative artists of the late 1950s and 60s, this exhibition will celebrate the contribution Froy made to British post-war figurative painting, in a tradition led by contemporaries such as Francis Bacon, Frank Auerbach and Lucian Freud.



We look forward to welcoming Martin Froy to the Gallery for the opening reception of this exhibition on Tuesday, 6th May from 6pm.


Martin Froy and the Figurative Tradition will open to the public on Wednesday, 7th May 2014. This exhibition is FREE and will run until Saturday, 2nd August 2014.


This exhibition and accompanying illustrated catalogue has been made possible through the kind support of Steven Rich as well as the loan of artworks from The Hepworth Wakefield, Leeds Art Gallery, the Arts Council Collection, and several private lenders.


The exhibition will be accompanied by a full programme of related events, including the popular Burton Saturdays: free creative activities suitable for all ages. Full details can be found on the gallery website: www.leeds.ac.uk/art-gallery-events

Themed events include:

  • Saturday 10th May - The Dance Within: A Dance Workshop with Gerry Turvey 
  • Saturday 17th May  – A Martin Froy inspired ceramics workshop with Mark Burns Cassell 
  • Saturday 24th May – Edible Masterpieces for The Art Fund - get inspired by our exhibition and make art out of icing!
  • Saturday 31st May – Ceramic Glazes and Surface Markings with Mark Burns Cassell
  • Saturday 21st June - 1950s inspired crafts with Becki Harper
  • Saturday 12th July - Creative Writing with Suzie Evans - follow in the footsteps of the Gregory Fellows for an afternoon!