Fred Yates 1922-2008, was born in Urmston, Lancashire, England in 1922. He began his working life as an insurance clerk but this career was cut short by WW II, during which he served as a Grenadier Guards After the war Yates took up painting – initially as a painter and decorator. Whilst working in Manchester, and training to become a teacher, Yates began painting – much in the vein of LS Lowry. Although he strived for recognition in his own right, which he achieved in later years. By 1970 Yates was living and working in Cornwall, England. In Cornwall he painted almost exclusively outdoors – scenes of local village life, clifftop and beach scenes. It was around this time that his commercial success started, following the “St Ives 1939-64” exhibition at the Tate Gallery in London. He also had a solo exhibition in Geneva which saw some of his work purchased by Henri Cartier-Bresson. In the early 1990’s Yates moved to France to a small village called Rancon in department 87, Haute-Vienne . Here he painted local scenes, one of his favourites being a small chapel in the woods just outside Rancon, called Saint-Sulpice. He both met and encouraged local artists and worked with British artists based in the area. In his later years he purchased a house in Drome, Provence, where the light and air were more suited to a man in his 80’s. Despite his advanced age he continued to paint regularly & travel widely. Yates died of a heart attack in July 2008 and is buried in one of his favourite spots in Cornwall overlooking St. Michaels Mount. He has works in private collections in France, UK, Canada and the United States of America and is one of our most loved artists.
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