John Nash

John Nash (picture by Phil Brew, December 2002)

He trained at the Leeds College of Art and the Slade School of Fine Art, and later taught at the Camberwell School of Art.

Shortly after leaving the Slade (c. 1958), John Nash set out to paint a six foot by four image of a tiger pacing its cage. in London Zoo, he filled page after page with drawings, enjoying the challenge of catching its shifting forms as it moved rapidly round and round the pitifully small cage. But he never did finish that piece. 

These days he finds painting a two foot square panel sufficiently daunting, and neither does he paint tulips because they shift around the vase as you watch. An apple, an orange or a pear knows its place but he’s never painted a banana.

John Nash is a former lecturer at the University of Essex, where he spent more than 30 years at the University’s Department of Art History and Theory, specialising in 17th century Dutch and 19th century French painting, and is Wivenhoe-based. 

In December 2002 he held an exhibition at the University, placing himself on public view as a piece of living art. The exhibition, entitled ‘Reflections: the Fruits of Experience’ meant the artist working in the window of the art gallery whilst people watched him and his collection of still life paintings.