Henry Cliffe was born in Scarorough in 1919. Whilst in the army in World War II he met the painter William Scott, and in 1946 enrolled as a student at the Bath Academy of Art. He was later invited to join the staff and became an influential teacher there alongside Scott, Peter Lanyon, Terry Frost, Bryan Winter, Howard Hodgkin and Adrian Heath.
In the decades after the war Cliffe was hardly less well known than his Corsham colleagues. He was chosen for the British Pavilion at the 1954 Venice Biennale with Ben Nicholson, Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud. He returned there in 1960 in the company of Pasmore and Paolozzi.
His first one-man exhibition was at the Redfern Gallery in 1956 and three years later his first one-man print show was held at St. George’s Gallery. In l960 Cliffe won first purchase prize at Philadelphia Print Club and in the following year gained a Ford Foundation Scholarship, at the Pratt Institute of Art, New York.
In 1996 Phillips auctioned Works from the Studio of Henry Cliffe, revealing four decades of constant inventiveness and experiment from figurative to abstract and finally back to figurative.
He died in 1983.
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