London 1921 - London 1975
The British sculptor Michael Ayrton Gould was also active as a painter, draughtsman, and writer. He studied at Heatherley’s and the St. John’s Wood Schools of Art in London, and in 1939 shared a studio in Paris with John Minton, studying with Eugène Berman. Other early artistic influences included the work of Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland and Pavel Tchelitchew. Ayrton produced book illustrations and designs for costumes for the ballet and theatre, published essays in art criticism, worked as an art teacher and even had some success as a filmmaker. In 1949 the writer and artist Wyndham Lewis prophesied that ‘Michael Ayrton is one of the two or three young artists destined to shape the future of British art.’1 Yet at the time of his death in 1975, at the age of fifty-four, Ayrton had been largely forgotten by the art establishment.