JOHN BUCKLAND WRIGHT
|Fourteen Wood Engravings to Le Sphinx 1934 (1960)|
|The Complete Sonnets of John Keats 1930|
|The Masque of Red Death and other tales 1932|
|Laus Veneris 1948|
|Two Poems of Coventry Patmore, music by Milhaud 1931|
|A SELECTION OF EX LIBRIS PLATES|
John Buckland Wright was born in New Zealand in 1897 and died after a short illness in 1954. He had a rich and varied educational background having served with distinction in the Great War as a member of the Scottish Ambulance Unit in the French Army. After the War he studied history before deciding to be an architect. He practised for a short while before deciding that his future was in printmaking, settling interestingly in Brussels, the site of his first show. It was here that he had taught himself wood and copper engraving.Although he had drawn constantly from the antique at Oxford, he was largely self-taught in matters others than the technical.
In 1929-30 he moved to Paris and became associated with S.W.Hayter and the Atelier 17. In 1939 he returned to London where he was appointed a national censor. He was prolific in print making and painting, teaching also at Camberwell and the Slade.
His formal passion was for the nude female form in sensuous mode (illustration Keats and Swinburne for example), a source of some constraint at times incertain commissions, but always with considerable formal invention in composition and pattern making.
In a recorded interview in 1990, Frank Martin said of JBW: '[He] was always extremely courteous, and a man of some style. He treated one as something of an equal. In spite of his great technical ability, there was an unpretentiousness that was very encouraging. It took away the over-mysterious side of etching.'