Bradley Martin (GB)
Bradley is a London born artist in a category of his own. His independent spirit led him to leave home in 1945, at the age of fourteen, and serve as a cabin boy aboard ships in Central and South America. He returned to London laden with portraits of his shipmates. Despite his obvious talent for painting, he decided to study oriental languages and literature. These studies brought him to the art and calligraphy of China and Japan and his interest in art was renewed. During the 1950s, Bradley exhibited with Gimpel Fils and The Redfern Gallery before joining Victor Musgrave's Gallery One. By then his bohemian lifestyle had earned him the name 'Rimbaud of Soho'.
During the late 1950s Bradley spent time in Paris, where he exhibited with Galerie Rive Gauche, known for its Surrealist stock of Max Ernst, Yves Tanguy and Rene Magritte. In 1958 Bradley returned to South America to spend time in Brazil. Meanwhile in London, Victor Musgrave continued to look after his career. Early collectors of his work include Sir Roland Penrose, Sir Herbert Read and Dame Barbara Hepworth, whom all felt attracted to his primarily abstract but symbolic works with calligraphic influences.