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Cyril Edward Power
Dates: British, 1872 - 1951
Biographical Account:

Cyril Edward Power was an architect and artist, best known for his colour linocut prints. He was also a painter, etcher, and monotype artist. He was born in London in 1872, eldest child of architect Edward William Power.

 

Power’s father encouraged him to draw from an early age, and his passion turned into a career when he became an architect in 1890. Initially working in his fathers’ office, he achieved success of his own in 1900, when he was awarded the Sloane Medallion by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

 

Despite being famed for his linocuts, Power spent the majority of his life living and working in London as both architect and lecturer.  In the First World War he was commissioned into the Royal Flying Corps and put in charge of the repair workshops at the Lympe Aerodrome. His awareness of mechanics and modern technology is apparent in his famous linocut prints, which bear a resemblance to works by the Futurist movement.  

 

In 1918 he and his family moved to Bury St Edmunds where he started to produce his first watercolour landscapes and townscapes, and there he also began a series of 40 drypoints. In 1921 he met Canadian artist Sybil Andrews, and a long and successful working relationship was to follow. Their first joint exhibition was a collection of pastels and watercolours at Crescent House in Bury St Edmunds.

 

In 1923 Power moved with his family to St. Albans and enrolled at Heatherley’s School of Fine Art, together with Andrews. In 1925 Power founded the Grosvenor School of Modern Art alongside Iain MacNaib and Claude Flight. Here Power worked as a lecturer, but also attended linocutting classes taught by Flight. Power exhibited with Flight and his circle in the 1929 ‘First Exhibition of British Lino-Cuts’ at the Redfern Gallery, which led to the commission of a series of posters for the London Underground.

 

In 1930 Power was elected a member of the Royal Society of British Artists and set up a studio with Andrews near the River Thames. Their first major exhibition of linocuts and monotypes was at the Redfern Gallery in 1933, but their partnership came to an end in 1938. Power worked as a surveyor throughout the Second World War, although continued to paint and to lecture at a local art society. He died in London in May 1951, having spent the last year of his life painting many landscapes and floral studies.

 

 

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