The Times, December 4 1973


A new direction in abstract art.


A.B. writes:


Jeremy Moon, who was killed in a motoring accident on November 30, was one of the outstanding British painters of his generation.

He was born in Altrincham, Cheshire, on August 29, 1934, and was educated at Shrewsbury and at Christ’s College Cambridge, where he read law. After graduating in 1957 he worked in advertising for a time, but in 1961 left to devote himself entirely to painting. It was a long premeditated decision, and the quality of the work that Moon began to produce won him an immediate reputation.

Self taught, apart from some classes at the Central School, he was awarded the sculpture prize at the 1962 Young Contemporaries exhibition. From 1963 onwards he had shown his paintings regularly at the Rowan Gallery in London, teaching part-time at the Chelsea School of Art, where he was highly respected. He was included in many representative exhibitions of new tendencies in British art in the United States and on the continent of Europe, and his paintings hang in the Tate Gallery and in many public collections.

Through his close friendship with Phillip King, a cambridge contemporary, Moon was at first often grouped with the sculptors associated with the St Martin’s School of Art. But although he made extensive use of shaped canvases, Moon was profoundly concerned with the problems of painting, and he pursued a highly original exploration of the imagery of abstract art. At the time of his first exhibition in 1963, Moon wrote:

“If one accepts the restrictions which art of the immediate past places upon one’s freedom as a painter now, it is only in the hope of securing a greater freedom later. There is talk today of ‘a return to figuration’ and of ‘the reappearing image’ but when I think that I may reasonably hope to see the art of the twenty-first century, I can only believe in new images, new figurations and a new reality.”

These lines have a melancholy ring today, for Jeremy Moon was a most thoughtful, highly intelligent and sensitive painter, whose art had probably still to reach its full potential. The loss to British painting is a considerable one. He leaves a devoted wife and three children.