Exhibition reveals undiscovered northern talent

PRESS RELEASE: Exhibition reveals undiscovered northern talent

15th March 2012

RARE, unseen works are being revealed for the first time at a major retrospective exhibition held to commemorate the life and works of internationally acclaimed northern artist, John Thompson.

Best known for his distinctive paintings of groups of men in flat caps, the celebrated northern artist’s works have wide appeal having appeared on TV show Footballers’ Wives to being selected to hang in the House of Lords in Westminster to represent northern culture.

The exhibition which runs from 22ndMarch is being held at Clark Art gallery in Hale, Cheshire and will showcase never before seen masterpieces from Thompson’s estate including many of his famous Group Series paintings.

Unlike most artists, Oldham-born Thompson embraced his gift late on in life, setting up as a self-taught, full-time artist aged 56. He died aged 87 in July 2011 after a battle with cancer.

Bill Clark, owner of Clark Art gallery and John Thompson’s representative for six years has held sell out shows featuring the artist’s work in Manchester, London, Falmouth, Burford and Dublin.

He said:

“This is a rare opportunity – for the first time the full extent of his estate will be on view for  the public, since his death. We’re showcasing never seen before works, private studies and experimental drawings – the exhibition will give a new insight into the work of a great artist. It will affirm his position as a major figure in the northern arts scene.

“In my time working with John we sold 1500 paintings, more than I’ve sold for any other artist. He has a loyal following and we’ve seen a resurgence of interest from all over the world.

“John's work allows the observer to add to the experience themselves: to find their own meaning – that’s why his eclectic paintings resonate with so many people. When compared to L.S. Lowry, Thompson would say: ‘Lowry was an observer, where as I’m an absorber’. He was right.”

Bill added:

“John was warm and approachable. His art shared this charm. The exhibition is a way of saying farewell to an amazing artist and a remarkable man. He was a great character– nobody will ever fill John’s shoes, and cap for that matter.”

Regularly hailed ‘The New Lowry’, Thompson has held major exhibitions throughout the UK with paintings previously selling for up to £12,500. Experts are predicting prices of his works will increase in the coming years.

A book on John's life and work entitled John Thompson - "Do you like 'em then?" was published in March 2006 and has become a best seller.

Clark Art Limited has galleries in Cheshire and London specialising in the work of northern artists particularly L.S. Lowry.

John Thompson – A commemorative exhibition opens on March 22nd at Clark Art gallery in Hale. It runs until 19th April 2012.



For further information, an interview with gallery owner Bill Clark and photography contact:

Heidi Boden   -                       0161 927 3131


Heidi Boden - 0161 927 3131