Christopher WOOD

Christopher WOOD
Aka Kit

 Recognised as a West Country 'connection' due to his discovery with Ben NICHOLSON of the naïve artist Alfred WALLIS of St Ives in 1928.  Wood was a multi-talented painter of the sea, ships, and dockside life.

In 1926 he met Winifred and Ben Nicholson and in their close friendship worked with them from time to time in Cumbria and in St Ives. First studying architecture at Liverpool, Kit soon turned to painting and studied at the Parisian ateliers of Julian's and Grande Chaumiere, where he was much influenced by modern European art movements (especially Picasso and Cocteau and their circles).

His visits to Cornwall were three in number in the years 1926, 1928 and 1930, in between travels in France, mainly Paris, northern France, and in and around Douarnenez, the capital of Cornouaille (the other Cornwall, a district within Finistere, Brittany). His strong and colourful palette led him with his unique naïve style latterly toward surrealism. He died (by suicide) at Salisbury station on 21 August, 1930 at the age of 29, killed by a train.


Draughtsman and marine painter, theatrical designer

works and access

Access to Work: Tate Gallery Most large public collections, UK (Aberdeen, Bradford, Kelvingrove, Kettle's Yard, Laing, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, Eastbourne, Dartington Hall, Southampton)//Quimper (France)

In Cornwall:  RCM, Truro: Green Hills


BA (18); Goupil (3); Redfern Gallery (1925); Tooth (33); RA (1938, Retrospective); Paris (1929)

1927: First exhibition, Beaux Arts Gallery, London, with Ben and Winifred NICHOLSON

1929: Arthur Tooth's Gallery: Cornish paintings


1992: RWE, Bristol: Artists from Cornwall


M Bird (2008) St Ives Artists/Place & Time

Hardie (2009) Artists/Newlyn & West Cornwall p354 Bibl

Cariou, A and Tooby, M with essays by F Steel-Coquet (1997)  Christopher Wood, A Painter Between Two Cornwalls London: Tate Gallery Publishing

P Clough (1974) Christopher Wood Exh Cat, Cambridge: Kettle's Yard Gallery

Gresty, Hilary (1989) Christopher Wood: The Last Years Exh Cat, Newlyn

Harrison, Charles (1987) The Modern, the Primitive and the Picturesque: Alfred Wallis, Christopher Wood, Ben Nicholson Exh Cat, Edinburgh: Scottish Arts Council

Hoyle, H (Dec 2010 Women Artists in Cornwall Review of BBC4 documentary 'Art of Cornwall'

Public Catalogue Foundation (2007) Cornwall & Isles of Scilly: Oil Paintings in Public Ownership

RWE (1992) Artists from Cornwall, Bristol

Tate (1985) St Ives 1939-64: 25 Years of Painting, Sculpture & Pottery, biog notes p146-7 with photo c1928 p147