William Gear (1915-1997) was a British painter who attended the Edinburgh College of Art. Gear painted in a near abstract style of painting and was affiliated with the COBRA movement. William Gear is one of the few British artists to make a significant impact overseas, particularly in Europe. In WWII Gear served as a 2nd Lieutenant, he served in many countries including Egypt and Cyprus, before participating in the Allied invasion of Italy. He later held his first solo exhibitions in Siena and Florence in 1944 Gear was a controversial character in his lifetime – there was an outcry when he won a purchase prize at the Festival of Britain, but he was also a champion of the arts and artists. Gear’s paintings are held in collections all over Europe. Since his death Gear has become more popular with modern collectors.
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