Spears, Frank (1906 – 1991)
Frank Sydney Spears was born in Walsall, Staffordshire, England. He arrived in South Africa as a designer
for Brimble and Briggs Ltd in 1928. He established a high profile as an artist , broadcaster and actor, but
was also known for his success in business and as a boat designer. His early work was impressionistic
and was referred to as “staid, stuffy and provincial”.
In 1949 he travelled to through the USA and here his style changed to a more abstract style. In the
1950’s he began to experiment with non-figuration, but was unable to relinquish his attachment
to figurative elements. A personal mysticism began to shape much of his thought and he became
interested in the relationship of painting, poetry and music. This was well received by art critics bored
with the conservative works at SASA exhibitions in the 1940’s. He was especially commended on the
SASA Member’s exhibition of 1950.
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