‘Untitled (lovers)’
18cm x 20cm
7″ x 8″
Ink and watercolour on paper
20cm x 28cm
8″ x 11″

Click images to enlarge


Born in Johannesburg, South Africa where he attended art school, but became dissatisfied with the instruction. He taught at the University of Johannesburg, leaving South Africa in 1959 for good and travelled extensively in Europe before living in Ibiza. In 1967 he settled in St Ives. Here he met other artists involved in the British Abstract movement of the 1950’s and 60’s, including Barbara Hepworth, Peter Lanyon, Patrick Heron and Terry Frost. Portway spent a number of years in St Ives and was an important member of this dynamic artistic community.

In the early 1980’s he and his family moved to Clifton, Bristol. The Portways also had a home in the Dordogne area of France where he spent a large proportion of his time painting.

His figurative and abstract works often have a strong erotic element; he was influenced by Klee, Jung and Zen. Douglas Portway’s work is to be found in the collections of the Tate Gallery, London, the Victoria and Albert Museum and in many collections throughout the world.