Skip to Content

JOHN TUNNARDEnglish 1900 - 1971

JOHN TUNNARDEnglish 1900 - 1971

John Tunnard was born at Sandy, Bedfordshire the son of the painter J.C. Tunnard. He studied at the Royal College of Art where he received a diploma for his drawings. He then started as a textile designer but soon abandoned the applied arts in 1929 for the art of painting. One year later he had moved to Cornwall and by 1933 he had had his first one-man exhibition at the Redfern Gallery in London. From the mid-1930’s he became influenced by Miro and this tendency is evident in our work. His paintings combine forms from both technology and the natural world in semi-abstract compositions. During the Second World War he served as a coastguard in Cornwall and after the war took a teaching post at the Penzance School of Art where he had a considerable impact on the 2nd generation of St Ives painters, notable Terry Frost. In 1946, two of his works were exhibited at the Jeu de Paume in Paris, an exhibition of modern British art. In 1948, he also participated in the Jeune Peinture en Grande Bretagne, in Paris. He participated in many group exhibitions in Britain and France, including the Paris Salons de Mai and des Realités Nouvelles. In 1977 the Arts Council arranged an exhibition of his work at the Royal Academy which toured to other venues in the U.K.