Cobbold & Judd

Modern & Contemporary Art

Margaret Mellis

1914 - 2009


In the early 1940s Margaret Mellis had been part of the development of British abstraction in St Ives, Cornwall. She had worked with Naum Gabo and Ben Nicholson, but after leaving Cornwall in 1946, her contribution was quickly forgotten. From 1950 Mellis was based in North Suffolk, where her work moved between abstraction and the figurative, collage, painting and construction. In the late 1970s Mellis began to form constructions out of driftwood, works that synthesised the various strands of her artistic practice.

Margaret Mellis’ works were exhibited widely in her lifetime and are represented in major national collections. In 2008 Margaret Mellis: A Life in Colour opened at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich. The exhibition Margaret Mellis: Modernist Constructs ran at the Towner Gallery, Eastbourne from 2021-22.