Clive Gardiner, artist and educator
A well-known poster designer, illustrator and muralist, (Alfred) Clive Gardiner was trained at the Slade School of Fine Art (1909-12) and the Royal Academy Schools (1913-14). Following the First World War he trained as an art teacher before teaching at Brighton School of Art, Bolt Court Technical School (an antecedent of the London College of Communication), and Goldsmiths College School of Art, where he went on to become Headmaster and later Principal (1929-58). He changed the outlook at Goldsmiths from that of a restrictive academic approach to one that embraced modern art and self-expression. He also taught at the Royal College of Art and the Sir John Cass Technical Institute, his pupils including painter Carel Weight and designer and typographer Charles Hasler.
When 16 he visited Paris, inspiring a keen interest in Cézanne and French modern art that later developed into an understanding of Cubism, Futurism and Surrealism. After the First World War his book illustrations included plates for Pillars of Empire: Studies and Impressions (1918), Leaves in the Wind (1918) and Many Furrows (1924). However, he was perhaps most widely known for poster designs and was a highly prolific artist for London Transport, one of the major poster commissioning bodies of the interwar years. Gardner designed 27 posters for LT, many of which were influenced by Cubism, as seen in Kew Gardens (1928) and The Tower of London(1927), and Futurism, exemplified by Save Time – Be on Your Way with a Season (1928)and Season Tickets Save Time (1928). Furthermore, as one of the leading poster artists associated with Shell Petroleum, he also participated in the Modern Pictorial Advertising (1931) exhibition at the New Burlington Galleries, London. He also worked for the Empire Marketing Board (1926-33), another key commissioning enterprise of widely displayed posters. Indeed his work was so well thought of by the Board that he could command fees of 280 guineas for a series of modern industrial scenes epitomized by the futurist-influenced Empire Buying Means Busy Factories and Empire Buyers are Empire Builders.
Like a number of artists at Brighton School of Art (including Louis Ginnett, Lawrence Preston, Dorothy Sawyer) Gardiner painted a number of murals including Coal for the 1938 Glasgow Empire Exhibition, for the Student’s Union at the University of London, Sir John Benn’s Hostel, Stepney and Toynbee Hall in the East End, London. In terms of design practice he was an associate member of the pioneering multidisciplinary Industrial Design Partnership (1935-40), whose founder members included Misha Black, Miner Gray and Walter Landor. In the Second World War he advised on the design and décor of Ministry of Food’s communal British Restaurants and in his last years focussed on watercolours and small oil landscapes. The Arts Council mounted a memorial exhibition of his work in 1963.