Frank Avray Wilson


Born in Mauritius and known as an Abstract Expressionist painter, printmaker and writer, Avray Wilson studied art in France and Norway and was the first painter in England to apply the techniques and methods of Action Painting and Tachism. He also gained a Master’s Degree in Biology from Cambridge University.

In 1956, alongside Denis Bowen and John Milnes-Smith, he formed the New Vision Centre Gallery which became a showcase for modern and abstract work. He was a member of the AIA (Artist’s International Association) and the Free Painter’s Group. He and his associates were making the most avant-garde abstracts in Post War Britain.

He was fundamental to the founding the International Contemporary Arts Centre, London. He was also the writer of Art as Understanding: a Painter’s Account of the Revolution in Art and its Baring on Human Existence as a Whole, published in 1960.

He had his first solo exhibition at Obelisk Gallery, London in 1954 and showed regularly at the Redfern Gallery from 1950.  He featured in many important group exhibitions including at the British Arts Council and in New Trends in British Painting at the New York Foundation in Rome, 1958. Avray Wilson also showed at the Leicester Galleries, the Royal Academy London, the Paris Salon, AIA in Paris and Brussels as well as numerous other international venues.


Avray Wilson’s work is in many notable public collections includingtheCarnegie Institute in in Pittsburgh, City Art Gallery in Leeds, Cleveland Museum of Modern Art, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery in Swansea, The Southampton Art Gallery, The Toledo Art Gallery in Ohio and the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.