Reg Cartwright -  English Contemporary Still Life and Landscape Painter

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Reg Cartwright Biography

reg cartwright artist painter
Reg Cartwright

Reg Cartwright was born in Leicester in 1938, the eldest of three brothers. After a conventional childhood he left the Gateway grammar school and worked as a pattern maker in a local shoe factory. This was not a good period of Reg's early life as he had wanted to go to art school, but this was not possible. National Service followed in the Leicestershire Regiment, serving in Cyprus and Germany. He was de-mobbed in 1960.

In 1962 he married Ann Harrison and they had two sons, Simon and James. Ann went to get an art history degree and wrote several books for children.

Determined not to go back into the shoe industry Reg managed to get a job in a small studio designing badges. From this humble beginning he moved into bigger studios, culminating in Frank Gayton Advertising, a large 30 man studio in Leicester. This was his art school, "I learned more there than any art school could have taught me". After six years he became an art director at Gee Advertising a larger agency in Leicester. Ten years later in 1976, he went freelance and became a full time artist.

There then followed a thirty year period of book illustrating and painting. Some lavishly illustrated books included the Canterbury Tales, Mr Potter's Pigeon, Peter and the Wolf, an anthology of poetry and seven books written by his wife Ann. He has had exhibitions in London and the UK, Japan and New York. For the past seventeen years he has concentrated purely on his paintings and his work is in private and public collections around the world.

Today Reg Cartwright's paintings are, as to quote Cambridge Contemporary Art ' Continuing the tradition of British Modernism. Working primarily with still life he uses familiar objects, plates, jugs, flowers to examine spatial relationships and achieves a balanced composition by flattening perspectives, omitting non-essential details and focusing on tone.'

1938 - Born in Leicester

1951 - 1954 Educated at The Gateway Boys School Leicester

1954 - 1957 Apprentice pattern maker in Leicester's shoe trade

1957 -1960 National Service (musician) Leicestershire Regiment serving in Cyprus and Germany

1962 Married Ann Harrison two sons born 1963 and 1965

1960 - 1976 Commercial artist and art director at Frank Gayton and Gee Advertising studio's Leicester

1972 Mixed exhibition at Portal Gallery - London

1974 One man exhibition at portal gallery - London

1975 Mixed exhibition at King Street Gallery - London

1976 One ann exhibition at Gadesby Gallery - Leicester

1976 Became a full time painter and illustrator

1977 One man exhibition at Portal Gallery - London

1979 One man exhibition at Portal Gallery - London

1979 Mixed exhibition at Picadilly Gallery - London

1980 One man exhibition at Leicester Museum and Art Gallery

1980 Mr Potter's Pigeon published by Hutchinson and awarded the Mother Goose Award for best Illustration (written by Patrick Kinmonth)

1980 - 1981 The Leicester Collection - Arts Council Exhibition

1981 16th Exhibition of Original Pictures of International Children's Books - Japan

1982 European Illustrators Touring exhibition: Whitechapel Art Gallery - London, Henry Thomas Gallery - Carmarthen, Midland Group - Nottingham, Cooper Gallery - Barnsley, Kirkcaldy Gallery, Museum and Arts Centre - Durham and Atkinson Gallery - Stockport

1982 Children's Book Illustrators (Smagic) exhibition M.O.M.A - Oxford

1983 Norah's Ark published by Huchinson (written by Ann Cartwright)

1985 Works for television - Mapp and Lucia opening titles (London Weekend Television)

1986 The Proud and Fearless Lion  published by Huchinson (written by Ann Cartwright)

1987 Peter and the Wolf  published by Walker Books

1987 My Cat published by Walker Books

1987 My Dog published by Walker Books

1988 The Canterbury Tales published by Walker Books

1989 Exhibition of Contemporary Children's Book Illustrators - Commonwealth Institute - London

1989 The Last Dodo published by Hutchinson (written by Ann Cartwright)

1989 The Winter Hedgehog published by Hutchinson (written by Ann Cartwright)

1989 The Man Who Wanted to live Forever published by Walker Books

1990 One man Exhibition - Woods Gallery - Leicester

1990 Polly and the Privet Bird published by Hutchinson (written by Ann Cartwright)

1991 Birds Beasts and Fishes published by Walker Books

1992 Arts Council exhibition - The Making of a Book - Birds Beasts and Fishes, toured Cartwright Hall - Bradford and Derby City Museum and Art Gallery

1993 Jackdaw published by Hutchinson (written by Ann cartwright)

1993 Firebird published by Walker Books

1993 Something New For A Bear To Do published by Hutchinson

1994 Billy Fishbone published by Longmans 

1995 James and the Rain published by Simon and Schuster

1997 The Boat of Many Rooms published by Atheneum

1997 Exhibition, Still Life - Two Views - Cambridge Contemporary Art

1997 Kasper's greatest Discovery published by Frances Lincoln

1997 Exhibition, The Original Show -  American Museum of 20th Century Illustration - New York

1997 The Band Over The Hill published by Hutchinson

1999 One Man Exhibition, New Paintings - Cambridge Contemporary Art

1999 Three Golden Oranges published by Atheneum

2000 What Does Rabbit Say? published by Doubleday

2001 One Man Exhibition, Simple Truths - Cambridge Contemporary Arts

2001 Going Home published by Dorling Kindersley (written by Ann Cartwright)

2002 The Edge of the Woods published by Henry Holt

2003 One Man Exhibition, New Paintings - Cambridge Contemporary Art

2004 Where Do We Live published by Hutchinson

2004 What Do We Do? published by Hutchinson

2005 Mixed exhibition, Brian Sinfield Gallery - Burford

2005 Mixed Exhibition, Thompson Gallery - Suffolk

2006 One Man Exhibition - Cambridge Contemporary Art

2007 One Man Exhibition, Ainscough Gallery - London and Dartmouth

2007 Bircham Gallery - Holt

2009 One Man exhibition, New Paintings - Cambridge Contemporary Art

2020 onwards Sales of paintings via website due to Covid-19 pandemic


Leicestershire Schools Art Collection

Leicester Museum and Art Gallery

Leicester Royal Infirmary

Mazza Collection, Findlay, Ohio, USA

Addenbrooks Hospital, Cambridge

Basildon and Thurrock, NHS Trust

National Hospital for Neurological Diseases, London

West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St. Edmunds

London Transport Museum

University of Leicester

Private Collections Worldwide

Copyright Reg Cartwright 2023. All Rights Reserved. Website by James Cartwright.