The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Thursday, April 22, 2021


Bellmans to sell Laurie Norman Studio
385 Laurie Norman (British, 1927-2019), Coastal Landscape, signed and dated ‘96', oil on canvas board, 57.5 x 83cm. £100-150. © Bellmans



WISBOROUGH GREEN.- Bellmans next series of auctions from 20th to 23rd April 2021 includes 50 lots of paintings by local Hampshire artist Laurie Norman. The studio sale is part of the picture auction on the 20th April and offers an opportunity to buy some affordable abstract paintings. Laurie particularly concentrated on the use of line and faceted coloured areas to suggest dynamic movement and to also explore tension between adjacent fragmented shapes to form abstracted structured design.

Laurie Norman was born in 1927 and passed away in 2019. He began his career in 1942 as an Apprentice Draughtsman at Air Service Training, Hamble and continued in the aircraft industry with Hawker Siddeley Group where he helped design some famous aircraft, including the Jet Provost, Gnat, Harrier Jump Jet and Trident, until he left in 1963. He changed career to work for IBM Research & Development at Hursley, where he was involved in the creation of some revolutionary design developments, specifically relating to personal computers and cash point machines. In order to promote these innovations, he moved temporarily to the USA. He retired in 1987.

Whilst Laurie may have helped develop ‘computer technology’, in his personal life he never showed interest in using this technology himself. Instead, he spent his free time furthering his interest in art; visiting art exhibitions and galleries all over England and Europe, as well as churches and old buildings. He took various part-time courses and workshops in history of art and printmaking, many of them at what is now Southampton Solent University.

He came to abstract painting when he took a course in the 1970s on 'Experimental Abstract Art.' In notes to one of his later exhibitions, Laurie said: " I was looking into ‘hard edge’ painting to experimenting with the vanishing point. I studied Pablo Picasso as an artist, his methods, especially his drawings and paintings on ‘Analytical Cubism’. Braque also came into my study, but I particularly identified with the Russian artists – Malevich and Wassily Kandinsky - during their ‘hard edge’ period. Kandinsky was aiming for a pure concord of colour through the interplay of various shades, where the elements of the subject are well defined."

He explained in a catalogue that he always found the ‘hard edge' way of painting interesting, and how he concentrated on the use of line, whether it be created by adjacent colours, or a definite thick dark line, usually Prussian Blue, between faceted coloured areas to suggest movement.

His work appeared in several combined exhibitions at various galleries including Southampton Art Gallery, Winchester Guildhall Gallery, Portsmouth Museum and Fisherton Mill Gallery in Salisbury. He was also part of the TAG exhibition in London and showed at the Tower Gallery at Frome and Greyfriars in Ringwood and at the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol. He was also a member of 2D/3D Art Group and participated in exhibitions there.

Locally, Laurie started the Lowater Retail Garden Plant Centre in Warsash with his son, David. He had a diverse taste in music and regularly attended jazz concerts at The Concorde Club and Turner Sims Concert Hall – Southampton. He also believed in keeping fit, and played hockey for many years for the ‘Trojans’ in Southampton, and was also captain of their cricket team.

Locally, he organised the Lowater Retail Garden Plant Centre in Warsash with his son, regularly attended jazz concerts at Turner Sims Concert Hall and The Concorde
Club - Southampton, and was Captain of his local cricket team, the 'Trojans' in Southampton and also played hockey with them for many years.











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