Michael Ayrton (1921-1975)

Ayrton was an English artist and writer who worked as a painter, printmaker, sculptor and designer, and also as a critic and broadcaster.

He was also a stage and costume designer, working with John Minton on the 1942 John Gielgud production of Macbeth at just 19 years old. He designed and illustrated Wyndham Lewis’ The Human Age trilogy. He also collaborated on projects with Constant Lambert and William Golding.

In 1977 Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery held a major retrospective of his work which subsequently went on tour.

Michael Ayrton (1921-1975), Laocoön Maze Figure II, 1972


Signed and numbered Ayrton 6/9 (underneath the bench)
Bronze with brown patina
14 in Height (35.5 cm)

Collections: Bonhams, July 2,2008 (39) where bt. by Andrew Burt

Literature: Peter Canon-Brookes, Michael Ayrton, Birmingham 1978, p. 129 (Cat.no 236); Jacob Nyenhuis Myth and The Creative Process ,Michael Ayrton and The Myth Of Daedalus and The Maze Maker 2003 ( cat. no.761, pl.761 and front cover Illustration)

Ayrton frequently drew on classical mythology for his subject matter. During the Trojan War Laocoön warned his colleagues against the wooden horse presented to the city by the Greeks. His advice was ignored and the goddess Minerva, a Greek supporter, sent sea serpents to strangle Laocoön and his sons.

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