RYAN, Adrian

1920 - 1998

Adrian Ryan

Adrian James Ryan was born at Hampstead, London on 3 October 1920, son of the landscape and portrait artist, Vivian Desmond Ryan and his first wife, Kathleen Frances Helps (20 December 1891-15 November 1945), second daughter of James William Helps, who married at St John's Parish Church, Croydon on 20 September 1917. Adrian was educated at Eton and his childhood was divided between the family homes of Hintlesham Hall, near Ipswich and Villa Santa Lucia at Cagnes-sur-Mer on the French Riviera. He studied at the Architectural Association School 1938-1939 and the Slade School of Fine Art 1939-1940, during its wartime evacuation to Oxford. He was excused military service on medical grounds and got a head start on his contemporaries by setting himself up as an artist, whilst they were still in uniform. His first studio in Tite Street, Chelsea was shared with Augustus John’s son Edwin. Ryan was taken up by the New Zealand-born dealer Sir Rex Nan Kivell (1898-1977) at the Redfern Gallery, who gave him his first exhibition in 1943 and he would be given a further four shows over the following ten years. Ryan was no doubt helped to a degree on his journey by financial security, his grandfather, Sir Gerald Ryan had left a fortune from working in insurance and an inheritance enabled Ryan to assemble an impressive collection of paintings, of the French artists with whom he felt a special affinity including Bonnard, Modigliani, Utrillo, and Soutine. Later, the failure of an ambitious farming projects with his older brother Gerald Ellis, obliged him to disperse the collection, and to seek a regular income from teaching. In 1945 Ryan established a studio at Mousehole in Cornwall and became associated with the nearby colony of St Ives painters. In 1948 Graham Sutherland (1903-1980) offered Ryan a post at Goldsmiths College in South London, a position he held until 1983 and from 1973, he also taught at Cambridge College of Art and Technology, a position he retained until 1985 when he retired from teaching. Over the years, he produced landscapes with free, expressive brush strokes, of Cornwall, France and later of Suffolk and exhibited with the London Group of Artists 1942-1943 and at the Royal Academy from 1949. His later solo shows included the University of West Virginia in 1978, Gallery 10 in 1980, a retrospective at Minories, Colchester in 1985, another with the National Trust 1994 and in 1996, a solo show at Eton College. Adrian James Ryan died at Camden Town, London on 15 December 1998, being survived by all three of his wives and by three daughters. (Adrian Ryan: Rather a Rum Life' by Julian Machin 2009).

Royal Academy Exhibits
from 48 Tite Street, London SW 3
1949 707 The Skate
         713 The Ray
1950 397 Polly
1951 438 Paul Church, Cornwall
1952 688 Newlyn, Penzance
from c/o A Tooth & Sons Ltd., 3 Bruton Street, London W 1
1955 515 Aspen
         569 Standing Nude
         583 Flowers on a Chair 1949
1956 63 Partridge and Lemons
         306 Narcissi and Sweet Peas
         532 Oak Tree in Spring
from 48 Tite Street, London SW 3
1957 477 The Oak
         556 Wild Flowers in a Vase
1958 93 Flowers on a Chair - Purchased by the Chantrey Bequest
1959 473 Tulips
         477 Still Life
         583 Cottages, Somerset
from Studio 5, 28b Camden Street, London NW 1
1961 279 Still Life
         284 Lilies
         514 Cornish Landscape
from Old Hill Cottage, Mousehole, near Penzance, Cornwall
1962 71 Old Quay, Mousehole
         143 Quayside, Mousehole
         450 The Village School
1963 311 Fish and Mussels
         337 Returning Home, Mousehole
         505 Flower-painting
1964 133 Lilies
         136 Spring Flowers
         318 Cornish Valley
1965 101 Mousehole School
         107 Mousehole
         163 Coast Road, Cornwall
from Trevascan House, Sennen, Cornwall
1966 693 Mousehole Harbour
         694 Road to Paul Church, Mousehole
from 8 Camden Studios, Camden Street, London NW 1
1967 75 Trevascan House, Land's End
         79 Sancreed Church, Cornwall
         292 Children's Fête at the Village School, Mousehole
1968 946 Montauroux, Provence
         963 Village in Provence
1970 76 Montauroux: Early morning
         83 Les Oliviers, Alpes Maritimes
         98 La Pinède, Provence
1971 525 Garreg Fawr, Merioneth
         528 Harlech Castle from Garreg Fawr
         887 Old Quary, Mousehole
1972 57 The Moelwyns in the Spring
         447 EEifronnydd
         943 The Moelwyns and Garreg Fawr
1973 554 Welsh Mountain Road
1974 85 St Mary's Ewarton, Suffolk from the North
         87 St Mary's Ewarton, Suffolk from the South
from Hill House, Holbrook, Ipswich
1976 560 Montauroux, Provence
1978 1496 Welsh Cottages
1984 20 Lunerville Church, Normandy

Works by This Artist