John Bratby was born in London and studied at Kingston School of Art (1948 -1950) and the Royal College of Art (1951). His first solo exhibition was held in 1954 at the Beaux Arts Gallery in London. This show and another at the Royal Academy that year, launched his professional career. Bratby was associated with ‘Kitchen Sink’ painting, a brand of 1950s English realist painting. Along with Jack Smith, Edward Middleditch and Derrick Greaves, Bratby represented Britain at the 1956 Venice Biennale. Their figurative, unheroic depictions of everyday life antithesised the élitism of abstraction and Neo-Romanticism. Bratby was elected an RA in 1971 and the National Portrait Gallery held a retrospective of his work in 1991.
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