Alfred Janes 1911 - 1999

Born in Swansea in June 1911, Alfred Janes was an artist of great gift and originality, who refused to confine himself to one style. From the early 1930s still lifes and portraits which won him a scholarship to the Royal Academy, his output evolved through a range of techniques including abstract, construction and collage. “He was one of the most original and inventive artists of his generation,” according to leading art historian Mel Gooding.
Modernism beckoned from the Mayfair galleries behind the Academy and Janes, despite being a prizewinning draughtsman, began to break away from the rigid traditions of the school. His still lifes from this period were exhibited alongside Picasso, Braque, Modigliani and Klee in London. “They are utterly unique in the art of their time,” says Gooding.
Close friends included the poets Dylan Thomas and Vernon Watkins and the composer Daniel Jones – dubbed the “Kardomah Boys” after the Swansea coffee house in which they met. Ceri Richards, also from Swansea, was another lifelong friend, as was the painter William Scott.
During the war Janes was only able to produce a few pencil portraits, and, returning to Swansea afterwards, produced figurative scenes from domestic life and the Gower coastline. In the 1960s, when he moved to London to take up a part-time post at Croydon College of art, his work became increasingly abstract, and his love of experimentation led him to use a wide range of materials such as sand, perspex and marbles. The results were bold, colourful and very much of their time. He died in 1999.

Black Tree
Oil 1960
109 x 93 cm

Oil 1961
108 x 93 cm

Culver Hole
Oil 1940s

Western Picnic
Oil 1950
80 x 67 cm

So Many Fathoms
Oil c 1961
116 x 109 cm

Sign and Cosign
Oil 1961
104 x 100 cm

Oil 1959
108 x 98 cm

Alfred Janes
Orb and Plain
oil 1964
60 x 52 cm

Self portrait puzzled
40 x 64 cm
To the Wales National Collection

William Scott
Pencil 1953

Pot of flowers
86 x 109 cm

Mervyn Levy
45 x 70 cm
sold to the Wales National Collection

Fish and fruit remembered
78 x 109 cm

109 x 93cm

97 x 71cm

Return to previous page

Copyright 2008 Kooywood Gallery
Contact Information :
Address: 8 Museum Place Cardiff CF10 3BG
Telephone: (029) 2023 5093
click to e-mail:

Opening Times :
Tuesday - Saturday 11:30 - 5:00
Closed Mondays
Free admission