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
24 x 20.5 inches
Silkscreen print
Ref: JF028
frog pond plop (dom Sylvester Houédard 1924-92 RIP) - Details


frog pond plop (dom Sylvester Houédard 1924-92 RIP) 1996
24 x 20.5 inches
Silkscreen, litho and letterpress
Ref: JF029
Never Mind – Doesn't Matter - Details


Never Mind – Doesn't Matter
11.75 x 11.75 inches
Letterpress print

Private collection


Ref: JF007
Ha-Ha! - Details


Ha-Ha!
11.75 x 11.75 inches
Letterpress print
Ref: JF006
Wallpaper for a Classical Passion-Pit Atop Mount Parnassus - Details


Wallpaper for a Classical Passion-Pit Atop Mount Parnassus 1988
16 x 13.75 inches
Print
From the folder Letters to the Great Dead with Jonathan Williams
Ref: JF008
ODILON REDON! - Details


ODILON REDON! 1986
15.75 x 13.5 inches
Silkscreen and letterpress print
From the folder Letters to the Great Dead with Jonathan Williams
Ref: JF014
The Feast - Details


The Feast 1985
16 x 13.75 inches
Silkscreen and letterpress print
From the folder Letters to the Great Dead with Jonathan Williams
Ref: JF012
Eiffel Tower - Details


Eiffel Tower
30 x 22.25 inches
Silkscreen print
Ref: JF035
Babel - Details


Babel (Peace for the World)
30 x 22.25 inches
Silkscreen print
Ref: JF033
Tower of Pisa - Details


Tower of Pisa 1965
30 x 22.25 inches
Silkscreen print
Ref: JF034
Firbank in Fox's Furs on Firbank Fell - Details


Firbank in Fox's Furs on Firbank Fell 1988
23.75 x 20.5 inches
Silkscreen print
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
16 x 13.75 inches
Silkscreen and letterpress
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
16 x 13.75
Silkscreen and letterpress print
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
16 x 13.5 inches
Silkscreen and letterpress
From the folder Letters to the Great Dead with Jonathan Williams
Ref: JF013
Time Money - Details


Time Money 1971
19.75 x 15 inches
Offset litho print
Ref: JF020
From nought to sixty - Details


From nought to sixty with Astrid Furnival
24.75 x 18.5 inches
Letterpress print

Private collection


Ref: JF022
dsh - Details


dsh
23.5 x 15.5 inches
Letterpress, silkscreen and offset print
Ref: JF025
frog pond plop - Details


frog pond plop
10 x 10 inches
Letterpress print
Ref: JF004
ARS LONGA VIDA BLUE - Details


ARS LONGA VIDA BLUE ave atque vale! 1989
18.5 x 14.75 inches
Silkscreen print
From the folder Letters to the Great Dead with Jonathan Williams
Ref: JF031
Ferdinand Point (Du Beurre) - Details


Ferdinand Point (Du Beurre) 1986
16 x 13.75 inches
Silkscreen and letterpress print
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
20 x 24 inches
Artist's proof trial print
Ref: JF026
Ça– TEA-LEAVES! - Details


Ça– TEA-LEAVES! with John Vince
30.25 x 22.5 inches
Silkscreen print with mixed media
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
19 x 14.75 inches
Silkscreen and letterpress print
Ref: JF018
Un coup de dés - Details


Un coup de dés
22.5 x 18.5 inches
Offset litho print
Ref: JF023



"Although the Meteorological Office..."
27.75 x 22 inches
Offset litho and letterpress print with graphite
From the folder St Swithins Swivet
Ref: JF032
Magick Over the Hills of Dentdale - Details


Magick Over the Hills of Dentdale
17.75 x 22.5 inches
Offset litho print
Ref: JF030
Woful Dane Bottom - Details


Woful Dane Bottom c 1994
25 x 20 inches
Offset lithograph with map collage
Edition unnumbered