The Prototype

1957

Mellor, Oscar
Oscar Mellor was born in 1921 in Manchester. He moved with his family to Birmingham in 1939 and took a job in tank production. He served in the RAF between 1942 and 1946, before returning to Birmingham. He began taking art classes and met Conroy Maddox who encouraged Mellor’s natural inclination towards Surrealism. He was a founder member of the Birmingham Artists Committee in 1947 and exhibited alongside other members such as John Melville and Emmy Bridgwater. In the 1950s, he moved to Swindon, where he worked as both an artist and a publisher establishing The Fantasy Press and publishing early works by poets such as Philip Larkin and Kingsley Amis. Alongside Maddox, Mellor’s influences included Surrealists who tended towards figuration, such as Max Ernst, Salvador Dali and Paul Delvaux. Mellor never conformed to any particular style however, stating, 'My religion is Surrealism… and I’m as lax in my devotions as the adherents of other denominations'. In works such as The Prototype, where a figure is placed alongside a machine in a manner that begs comparison to Picabia, Mellor considers the human form as a means of expression. Greg Salter
  • Artwork Details: 29.5 x 25cm
  • Edition:
  • Material description: oil on board
  • Credit line: © the artist
  • Theme: Figurative
  • Medium: Painting
  • Accession number: AC 4031

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