Prunella Clough


Born Cara Clough-Taylor, Prunella Clough broke away from her traditional upbringing and enrolled at the Chelsea School of Art, 1938-9, until the outbreak of war brought a premature end to her studies. During World War II, she was an engineer’s drafter and mapper for five years. In 1946, Clough resumed her training at Camberwell School of Art, where she met Victor Pasmore. She established friendships with other budding artists of the time including Patrick Heron, John Minton and Keith Vaughan.


Clough's earlier works focused on still life arrangements, before developing into images of the labourer: from fishermen to engineers, the figure became of secondary importance while the concept of their associated tools became primary. Over the course of time, the image of the figure dispersed, replaced with abstracted images of cooling towers, cranes and building sites. Yet, as her style progressed into a purer form of abstraction, the inspiration found in industrial landscapes remained.


Her first exhibition, in 1947 at the Leger Gallery, was soon followed by important solo exhibitions including the Whitechapel Gallery, in 1960; the Serpentine; the London and Scottish Gallery of Modern Art; and Kettles Yard. In 1999, Clough was awarded the Jerwood Prize for painting. 


There are over one hundred works by Clough in public collections including the Tate Gallery, Kettles Yard Cambridge, The Courtauld and the Government Art Collection. Provincial collections include Aberdeen, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool and Southampton.