Gordon Onslow Ford, a Surrealist painter, died on Nov. 9 from complications of a stroke. He was 90.
After serving in the British Navy, Onslow Ford moved to Paris in 1937 to study art. “I was born wanting to paint,” he once said.
Under the tutelage of painters like André L’hote, Fernand Leger and Roberto Matta, he developed a colorful technique of spontaneously pouring paint onto a canvas. His method predated Jackson Pollock’s own drip technique by 10 years.
When World War II broke out, Onslow Ford went back to England, but later moved to New York where he gave a series of lectures on surrealism and automatism at the New School for Social Research. The last surviving member of a 1930s group of famous Surrealist painters led by Andre Breton, Onslow Ford is best known for painting circle, line and dot compositions of what he called the “inner worlds.”
Onslow Ford’s work appeared in several retrospectives and solo exhibitions in Britain, Chile, Germany, Spain and the U.S. The author of the books, “Painting in the Instant” and “Creation,” he was also married to poet Jacqueline Johnson until her death in 1976.