James Arnold Martin

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Post-war British artist James Arnold Martin (1931-2015) was a modern Renaissance Man: a prolific painter and draughtsman, beloved teacher, ceramicist, potter and theatre designer. Born in Southsea, he moved with his family to Lincolnshire during the Blitz. He went on serve as a British spy in Moscow, learning Russian, then trained as a teacher at Goldsmith’s College, London, specialising in art and French. He taught in various schools around London, and taught languages at his home in Balham, South London. He was an active supporter of the Terrence Higgins Trust, setting up and running Speakers' Corner at the trust in the 1980s.

James Martin’s artwork is striking and original. His wide-ranging works include architectural subjects and playful scenes such as funfairs, zoos and circuses. He combines elements of abstraction, Op Art and Cubism, often in playful bright colour palettes and presenting subjects from unusual perspectives in fresh and engaging ways.