Leslie Marr – A Painter on Arran

Leslie Marr in the studio at Carlo - 1990
Leslie Marr Self Portrait - 1963

As some readers may know, the painter Leslie Marr lived and worked on Arran from 1983 until 1991 in the house called Carlo on Corrie Shore. Recently, Leslie’s work has been on show at the Piano Nobile Gallery in London alongside that of his mentor and teacher, David Bomberg, who died in 1957.

Leslie Marr was born in 1922 and lives now in Norfolk with his wife Maureen and is delighted that his recent exhibition has been so well received, acknowledging that critics have, for him, “just in time” decided that he stands as one of the important British landscape painters of the 20th century. Until now Bomberg’s reputation had rather eclipsed Marr’s but this exhibition has fixed Marr as an equally important figure.

Leslie Marr is a man of many parts. Trained as an engineer at Cambridge, graduating in 1942, he then went straight into the technical branch of the RAF. During his war service he discovered a desire to paint and on his return to the UK attended life classes at Heatherlies Art School in Pimlico and then joined Bomber’s classes at the Borough Polytechnic. At the same time he acquired the lease of a bookshop off Charing Cross Road and gave the top floor over to students of Bomberg as an exhibition space (The Borough Group). In 1950 the Borough group was dissolved but Leslie continued to paint and to learn, travelling to Paris and all over Britain and Europe painting landscapes as well as engaging in a number of activities including taking pottery classes and Formula One driving!

He has had many exhibitions in London including the Woodstock Gallery, Drian Galleries, Whitechapel Gallery, Fermoy Gallery, Campbell and Franks, Ben Uri Gallery and Piano Nobile as well as galleries in Newcastle, Oxford and Norfolk.

Leslie Marr spent eight years on Arran painting land and seascapes and making the island his home; another artist for us to celebrate and enjoy.

Heather Gough

Force Ten Gale - 1988
Glen Ceitlin - 1976
Mont St Victoire - 1963