All  |  International and Contemporary  |  Modern British/Post War  |  Photography

John Furnival

John Furnival (1933-2020) was born in London and studied at Wimbledon School of Art and the Royal College of Art.

Furnival taught for more than thirty years at Bath Academy of Art, Corsham, and took an active role during Bath Academy's influential and innovative era in the 1960s and '70s when it was a creative hub for Concrete Poetry ('visual poetry'). Furnival and fellow artist Tom Phillips were brought in to teach at Bath by the German typographer, printer and publisher, Hansjoerg Mayer. In 1964, Furnival founded Openings Press with a visiting teacher, Dom Sylvester Houédard, and later Furnival had other small presses – Satie's Faction and Openings-Closings – to publish Concrete and Visual Poetry.

Furnival collaborated with Jonathan Williams, and was commissioned by Ian Hamilton Finlay to produce illustrations for Wild Hawthorn Press’s Poor.Old.Tired.Horse. With others in his circle, Furnival took part in the International Exhibition of ‘Experimental Poetry’ in Oxford (1965) and, decades later, in The New Concrete: Visual Poetry in 21st Century at the South Bank Centre (2015).

Furnival described himself as "a drawer; a drawer of landscapes, personages and wordscapes". With his wife Astrid, a textile artist, he lived in Gloucestershire apart from a decade in France from 2002. He exhibited internationally and his work is held in many public collections, including the Arts Council of Great Britain; Tate; the British Council; Getty collection, Los Angeles; Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, Miami; and the British Museum.

The exhibition John Furnival: somewhere between poetry and painting was held at England & Co (8 May-5 June 2010). These pages show a selected archive of his text-related works, including many that were in the exhibition.

Read John Furnival's obituary in the Guardian.

Drawings & works on paper   Paintings   


Prints



Arc-en-oeil, en arcueil - Details


Arc-en-oeil, en arcueil 1985

Silkscreen print
24 x 20.5 inches

Ref: JF028
frog pond plop (dom Sylvester Houédard 1924-92 RIP) - Details


frog pond plop (dom Sylvester Houédard 1924-92 RIP) 1996

Silkscreen, litho and letterpress
24 x 20.5 inches

Ref: JF029
Never Mind – Doesn't Matter - Details


Never Mind – Doesn't Matter

Letterpress print
11.75 x 11.75 inches

 

Private collection



Ref: JF007
Ha-Ha! - Details


Ha-Ha!

Letterpress print
11.75 x 11.75 inches

Ref: JF006
Wallpaper for a Classical Passion-Pit Atop Mount Parnassus - Details


Wallpaper for a Classical Passion-Pit Atop Mount Parnassus 1988

Print
16 x 13.75 inches

  From the folder Letters to the Great Dead with Jonathan Williams

Ref: JF008
ODILON REDON! - Details


ODILON REDON! 1986

Silkscreen and letterpress print
15.75 x 13.5 inches

  From the folder Letters to the Great Dead with Jonathan Williams

Ref: JF014
The Feast - Details


The Feast 1985

Silkscreen and letterpress print
16 x 13.75 inches

  From the folder Letters to the Great Dead with Jonathan Williams

Ref: JF012
Eiffel Tower - Details


Eiffel Tower

Silkscreen print
30 x 22.25 inches

Ref: JF035
Babel - Details


Babel (Peace for the World)

Silkscreen print
30 x 22.25 inches

Ref: JF033
Tower of Pisa - Details


Tower of Pisa 1965

Silkscreen print
30 x 22.25 inches

Ref: JF034
Firbank in Fox's Furs on Firbank Fell - Details


Firbank in Fox's Furs on Firbank Fell 1988

Silkscreen print
23.75 x 20.5 inches

  From the folder Letters to the Great Dead with Jonathan Williams

Ref: JF027
Catullus on the Roman Wall - Details


Catullus on the Roman Wall 1987

Silkscreen and letterpress
16 x 13.75 inches

  From the folder Letters to the Great Dead with Jonathan Williams

Ref: JF001
Percy Grainger was no stranger... - Details


Percy Grainger was no stranger... 1986

Silkscreen and letterpress print
16 x 13.75

  From the folder Letters to the Great Dead with Jonathan Williams

Ref: JF011
PLINK! PLANK! Real Sham POULENC! - Details


PLINK! PLANK! Real Sham POULENC! 1987

Silkscreen and letterpress
16 x 13.5 inches

  From the folder Letters to the Great Dead with Jonathan Williams

Ref: JF013
Time Money - Details


Time Money 1971

Offset litho print
19.75 x 15 inches

Ref: JF020
From nought to sixty - Details


From nought to sixty with Astrid Furnival

Letterpress print
24.75 x 18.5 inches

 

Private collection



Ref: JF022
dsh - Details


dsh

Letterpress, silkscreen and offset print
23.5 x 15.5 inches

Ref: JF025
frog pond plop - Details


frog pond plop

Letterpress print
10 x 10 inches

Ref: JF004
ARS LONGA VIDA BLUE - Details


ARS LONGA VIDA BLUE ave atque vale! 1989

Silkscreen print
18.5 x 14.75 inches

  From the folder Letters to the Great Dead with Jonathan Williams

Ref: JF031
Ferdinand Point (Du Beurre) - Details


Ferdinand Point (Du Beurre) 1986

Silkscreen and letterpress print
16 x 13.75 inches

  From the folder Letters to the Great Dead with Jonathan Williams

Ref: JF010
Poem/Print No.11 - Details


Poem/Print No.11 with Ian Hamilton Finlay 1969

Artist's proof trial print
20 x 24 inches

Ref: JF026
Ça– TEA-LEAVES! - Details


Ça– TEA-LEAVES! with John Vince

Silkscreen print with mixed media
30.25 x 22.5 inches

Ref: JF058
Voir au Verso - Details


Voir au Verso with John Vince

Silkscreen print


Ref: JF057
Q is for Question - Details


Q is for Question

Silkscreen and letterpress print
19 x 14.75 inches

Ref: JF018
Un coup de dés - Details


Un coup de dés

Offset litho print
22.5 x 18.5 inches

Ref: JF023



"Although the Meteorological Office..."

Offset litho and letterpress print with graphite
27.75 x 22 inches

  From the folder St Swithins Swivet

Ref: JF032
Magick Over the Hills of Dentdale - Details


Magick Over the Hills of Dentdale

Offset litho print
17.75 x 22.5 inches

Ref: JF030
Woful Dane Bottom - Details


Woful Dane Bottom c 1994

Offset lithograph with map collage
Edition unnumbered
25 x 20 inches