Born in Browney, Co Durham on 11 January.
Lived and educated at Blyth in Northumberland where the sands stretching to Seaton Sluice and the pebble-dashed walls of his home were to be a lasting influence on his style of painting.
Escaped death when his home was seriously damaged by wartime bombing.
Appreciated art for the first time through a mezzotint of John Martin’s The Plains of Heaven during evacuation near Bishop Auckland in Co Durham.
Painted watercolours on the north-east coast and later
copied English landscapes with his father James Stephenson, journeyman and amateur artist.
Studied Fine Art under Professor Lawrence Gowing at King’s College, in Newcastle upon
Tyne where he was awarded a Hatton Scholarship in his final year.
Awarded 1st class BA at Durham University; declined a place at the Royal College of Arts.
Appointed Tutorial Student, then Studio Demonstrator, developing from the beginning a celebrated pedagogic
Basic Course known later as The Developing Process with Victor Pasmore and Richard Hamilton in the department of Fine Art at King’s College, University of Durham.
Awarded a Junior Section Prize at the first John Moores Liverpool Exhibition.
Married Kate Brown and travelled in Italy on a BoiseScholarship.
Taught Extempore Studies part-time at The Polytechnic School of Art in London.
Taught basic design and later painting part-time
at Chelsea School of Art.
Awarded a Gulbenkian Foundation Painting Purchase.
Exhibited at the New Art Centre in London throughout the sixties.
Participated in a BBC Michael Gill film, Cubism and After, in London.
Awarded an International Marzotto Selection Prize in Italy.
Represented Great Britain abroad in over 25various mixed exhibitions mainly under the auspices of the British Council, including touring exhibitions in the Near and Far East, Latin America, Europe and worldwide.
Work selected by Michelangelo Antonioni to be included in his seminal film Blow-Up, after he had recognised during a studio visit the effects of changing focus and scale.
Awarded First Prize in the Northern Painters Exhibition at Newcastle.
Returned to Tyneside and painted increasingly large sectional canvases culminating in Quaternion.
Appointed Director of Foundation Studies at Newcastle University and introduced an alternating approach
between perceptual and conceptual studies to the academic syllabus for the first time in any British art school.
Held first retrospective exhibition sharing the Laing Art Gallery with the great 19th-century epic painter John
Martin at the Newcastle Festival.
Appointed Principal Lecturer in charge of Postgraduate Painting at Chelsea School of Art, London.
Bought a neo-Norman Chapel of Ease as a studio in the Border country of Northumberland and worked there for
over 25 years.
1972 – 96
Appointed an external examiner and senior assessor to many art schools nationwide for over 25 years.
Published Remarks on his art in One Magazine in London.
Achieved Master’s Degree status for Chelsea School of Art.
Elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Arts.
Held second major retrospective exhibition Paintings 1955-66 and 1966-77organised by the Arts Council of Great Britain at the Hayward Gallery in London, touring to the
Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol and the Turnpike Gallery, Leigh.
Held third major retrospective exhibition Iconic Variation: Paintings on Paper 1961-77 The first show by a living artist at Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery, touring to National Museum of Wales in Cardiff.
Created a large edition of uniquely collaged silkscreen prints Phoenix to raise funds for the Contemporary Art Society.
Produced a triple edition of big screenprints Ceolfrith Suite to aid the Sunderland Arts Centre with Fellowships.
Elected a full Royal Academician.
Retired from Chelsea College of Art and Design.
Exhibited a set of watercolours Mortlake for six months at the Victoria and Albert Museum to celebrate the re- opening of the Raphael Cartoons by the Queen.
Received the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters at the University of Durham.
Died in London on 25 August.