Harry Ousey 1915-1985

Assurance of paint handling and a freedom to simplify  and indeed abstract from natural landscape motifs characterise Manchester born Harry Ousey’s work. During the 1950s his distilled naturalism, alighting on structural landmarks like hill profiles, tidal marks in sand or dry stone walls, chimed with abstracting modern Cornish art in general and with the work of Scott, Lanyon, Frost, Hilton or Barns-Graham in particular.

Centred on the celebrated colony of St. Ives, these artists are natural bedfellows for a Northern artist who, despite his decided origins, became a peripatetic figure. He variously lived in London, where he studied architecture and served in the army, Cornwall, Derbyshire, the Cotswolds and France, dying in 1985 aged 70, in Marseilles.

“Harry Ousey was a very significant artist, writer and teacher. He was very much ahead of his time and helped an emerging generation of artists to reject the narrowness of British Art in the post war era and to reflect on a new way forward. The breadth and depth of his thinking is truly remarkable.”

Professor Allan Livingston, C.B.E 2014.


Harry Ousey