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A Biography

Gillian Ayres CBE

Genre: Research Article

Article by: Dave Roberts - First Published: 1 November 2011

Gillian Ayres was born into a prosperous family living in Barnes, London on February 3, 1930, the youngest of three sisters. She attended Ibstock School in Roehampton run on Fröbel principals. In 1941 Ayres was sent to Colet Court, the junior school for St Paul's, in Hammersmith, then St Paul's Girls' School the following year.

When only 16 years old, she applied to the Slade School of Fine Art, she was initially accepted, then when her age was discovered she was told she was too young to enrol. Rather than wait a year she enrolled at the Camberwell School of Art where she studied from 1946 to 1950.

From 1951 to 1959 she worked part time as the AIA Gallery (Artists International Association) in Soho before becoming a teacher. During this time she married Henry Mundy (1951), although they divorced after about 30 years, they now live together.
They have two sons, the younger son: Sam Mundy is also a painter.


She continues to exhibit regularly at Gimpel Fils, London and at the Alan Cristea Gallery, London.


Ayres left teaching in 1981 to become a full time painter. Living in Wales and Cornwall.






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