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Bridget Riley

John Plumb: Abstract painter showcased in the 1960 exhibition

If proof were needed that success can blight a painter's career, then the life of John Plumb would provide it in spades. Plumb scored his first triumph as an artist 60 years ago when a portrait of his future wife, Joan Lawrence, was chosen for exhibition at the New English Art Club. The 21-year-old painter was then still a student at the Byam Shaw School of Art in London; a decade later, he was having solo shows at the trend-setting Gallery One in London. In September 1960, Plumb's fame peaked with his inclusion in the Royal Society of British Artists' exhibition "Situation".