John Banting born in 1902 was one of England’s most important surrealist artists.
- He was born in Chelsea in 1902, his father, George Frederick Banting was born in Holborn London in 1861.
- He attended the Emmanuel School with his older brother George and when he left he went to work as a clerk and was drawn to the art world, he studied at the Vincent Sq Art School under Bernard Meninsky.
- He was very much ‘other establishment’ and by 1925 had established a studio at Fitzroy Street and was part of the Bloomsbury set.
- He worked commercially making designs for Virginia Woolfs Hogarth Press.
John’s political leanings were left of centre and he formed a relationship with Nancy Cunard whose politics he adopted. He joined in with her stance against racial prejudice and accompanied her to Spain during the Civil War for three months.
- He was drawn towards Surrealism and was invited by Marcel Duchamp to contribute to the Exposition Internationale du Surrealisme, in Paris in 1938.
- Unfit to serve in the WWII, he became the Ministry of Defence art director for the Strand Films with Dylan Thomas and Curtis Moffat
He continued to paint and exhibit as well as undertaking commercial work.
His work can be seen at the Tate Britain London
To see a great photo portrait of John go to the National Portrait Gallery
John Banting died in 1972