Patrick Venton (1925-1987)

Venton was born and educated in Birmingham. He worked as a clerk for a short time before joining the Army but was invalided out after three years with serious clinical depression, for which he received electric shock treatment. His elder brother was killed at Arnhem, an event the family never really recovered from and which contributed to Venton’s state of mind.

After being demobbed in 1946, he attended the Birmingham College of Art, where he met and married his wife Zena in 1951. In his early years he was interested in Surrealism and for a while had a painting room in the house of Conroy Maddox. Venton lectured at Birmingham College of Art and later in London at Heatherley’s College of Art, but despite the appreciation and admiration he received from many leading contemporary artists of the time, Venton remained in the words of a colleague, “a very private person, an observer, diffident about exhibiting”.

Venton’s work won the prestigious painting prize in the John Moores Exhibition in 1957 which is now in the collection of the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. In 1965 Birmingham City Art Gallery added ‘Studio Table No. 1’ to it’s collection. The following year he was given a solo show at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham and a further four paintings were also exhibited in 2004 at the Ikon Gallery retrospective, for many visitors these works proving a revelation, which offered a tantalizing glimpse of a mature and hitherto largely unknown talent.

Artist Collection