Obituary: John Ernest

THE EXTREME and rigorous austerity of John Ernest's work hid a warm and generous person who was physically very attractive and an occasionally brilliant raconteur, writes David Hepher (further to the obituary by Alastair Grieve, 28 July).

It was reassuring to know that the creator of those rarefied constructed reliefs which he claimed owed so much to Bach also liked the Rolling Stones; that the artist who embraced what could be seen by some as a cold and monastic art form was an ardent admirer of beautiful women, of whom many returned the compliment; that the craftsman who would stay up until all hours trying to perfect an idea to his own high standards, would lose as much sleep gambling; that the mind that so directly identified with the cerebral structures of Biederman and Mondrian revelled in the company of the young daughter born late in his life.

All these qualities, along with his professional attitude to his work, were imparted to students and colleagues alike at Chelsea School of Art. He left an irreplaceable gap in the school when he left.

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