Born 1934, Manchester. John Alvaro Caldas was a successful West End dancer and musician before turning his attention to making art. For more than three and a half decades until his death in 2006, he produced a large body of paintings and drawings of a consistently high standard. Sometimes pigeonholed as a 'Northern School' artist, John was clearly in a school of one, and few... other artists in the second half of the twentieth century have combined a mastery of technique with an approach to dealing with aspects of the human condition which successfully negotiates the pitfalls of pretension and self consciousness.
On rare occasions, outstanding artists do slip through the net; their anonymity often explained by a primary concern with the making of art rather than its positioning in the marketplace.
London did get an occasional glimpse of John's work and the reviews of his two solo exhibitions spanning nearly a decade were more than favourable.* However, the momentum required to cement his reputation during his lifetime was missing and an overdue appraisal of his life's work is now underway.
Philips represents the John Alvaro Caldas estate. We are currently writing a book about his life and work, to be published in the autumn. * "His Woman in Library is the finest new painting I have seen in years and ought to be in the Tate". Philip Ward Green. Arts Review, 30th September 1983.