AYRTON, Michael

Michael Ayrton  British  1921 –1975

Michael Ayrton, Sculptor, painter, printmaker and writer. Multi-talented he was also a critic, broadcaster and novelist. His varied output of sculptures, illustrations, poems and stories reveals an obsession with flight, myths, mirrors and mazes.

As a stage and costume designer, he worked with fellow artist John Minton in the 1942  and a book designer and illustrator, for Wyndham Lewis on his Trilogy, The Human Age . An exhibition, ‘Word and Image’ (National Book League 1971), organised with Wyndham Lewis, explored their literary and artistic connections, Ayrton had illustrated and designed many dust jackets for his contemporaries.

Ayrton was born Michael Gould, but took his mother’s maiden name professionally. In his teens during the 1930s he studied art in London,  then in Paris under French Designer Eugène  Berman where he shared a studio with fellow British artist John Minton.

Beginning in 1961, Michael Ayrton wrote and created many works associated with the myths of  the Minotaur and Daedalus, the legendary inventor and maze builder, including bronze sculpture and the pseudo-autobiographical novel “The Maze Maker” . He also wrote and illustrated “Tittivulus Or The Verbiage Collector“, an account of the efforts of a minor devil to collect idle words. He also wrote several works on art  including “Aspects of British Art” (Collins, 1947).

He died in 1975.

His work is in important collections such as the Tate Gallery, National Portrait Gallery & Museum of Modern Art.

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