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3 December 1908
23 January 1998 (aged 89)
Central School of Art
1961 Venice Biennale
'Apollo Pavilion', Peterlee by Victor Pasmore
Pasmore was born in Chelsham, Surrey, on 3 December 1908. Victor Pasmore studied at Summer Fields School in Oxford and Harrow in west London, but with the death of his father in 1927 he was forced to take an administrative job at the London County Council. Victor Pasmore he studied painting part-time at the Central School of Art and was associated with the formation of the Euston Road School. After experimenting with abstraction, Pasmore worked for a time in a lyrical figurative style, painting views of the River Thames from Hammersmith much in the style of Turner and Whistler.
Abstract by Victor Pasmore
In the Second World War,Victor Pasmore was a conscientious objector. Having been refused recognition by his Local Tribunal, Victor Pasmore was called up for military service in 1942. Victor Pasmore refused orders and was court martialled and sentenced to 123 days imprisonment. The sentence qualified Victor Pasmore to go to the Appellate Tribunal in Edinburgh, which allowed Victor Pasmore unconditional exemption from military service.
Victor Pasmore's break into abstract art was inspired by the artists Piet Mondrian and Paul Klee. Their writings feature nature and the creation of a dynamic harmony in art which stood for the future harmony of society.
Beginning in 1947, Victor Pasmore developed a purely abstract style under the influence of Ben Nicholson and other artists associated with Circle, becoming a pioneering figure of the revival of interest in Constructivism in Britain following the War. Victor Pasmore's abstract work, often in collage and construction of reliefs, pioneered the use of new materials and was sometimes on a large architectural scale. Herbert Read described Pasmore's new style as "The most revolutionary event in post-war British art".
In 1950, he was commissioned to design an abstract mural for a bus depot in Kingston upon Thames and the following year Pasmore contributed a mural to the Festival of Britain that promoted a number of the British Constructivists.
Victor Pasmore was a supporter of fellow artist Richard Hamilton, giving Victor Pasmore a teaching job in Newcastle and contributing a constructivist structure to the exhibition "This Is Tomorrow" in collaboration with Ernő Goldfinger and Helen Phillips. Victor Pasmore was commissioned to make a mural for the new Newcastle Civic Centre. His interest in the synthesis of art and architecture was given free hand when Victor Pasmore was appointed Consulting Director of Architectural Design for Peterlee development corporation in 1955. Pasmore's choices in this area proved controversial; the centerpiece of the town design became an abstract public art structure of Victor Pasmore design, the Apollo Pavilion. The structure became the focus for local criticism over the failures of the Development Corporation but Pasmore remained a defender of his work, returning to the town to face critics of the Pavilion at a public meeting in 1982. After many years of neglect the work was restored in 2009 with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Victor Pasmore represented Britain at the 1961 Venice Biennale, was participating artist at the Documenta II 1959 in Kassel and was a trustee of the Tate Gallery, donating a number of works to the collection. Victor Pasmore gave a lecture on