Martin Leman's cat paintings have earned him much recognition as a contemporary British artist in the UK as well as Worldwide, particularly in the USA and Japan. His cat images have been published in no less than twenty books sice his first in 1079; 'Comic & Curious Cat', with text by Angela Carter. Alongside numerous exhibitions in London and Cornwall, followers of his work continue to enjoy his naive style of painting and, in particular, his portrayal of cats in charming settings.
Leman is a member of the Royal Society of British Artists and the Royal Watercolour Society, as well as a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. Born in London in 1934, he studied at Worthing School of Art and Central school of Art in London. After working for a time in publishing, as a Designer and Illustrator, he took up painting full time in the early 1960s, as by then his paintings of cats were creating huge success.
'Cats', Leman's first solo exhibition with Curwen Gallery in December 2015, followed his inclusion in our shortlisted artists exhibition for the Curwen Prize for Figurative Painting in 2014. 'Cats' demonstrated the universal likeability of his works; cats full of character yet, with their typical feline aloofness, set amongst plush homely interiors, or posed on top of decorative trinket boxes. Others sit in front of an outdoors backdrop, frequently of St Ives; a location with which Martin Leman has much association, often using it as a setting in his paintings. Another reoccurring motif in Leman's works is the small round ball placed near the cat's feet; whether it is being guarded, or about to be pounced upon, it is not always clear. There is a sense of humour to his works, and sometimes a surreal edge.
Martin Leman is married to the artist Jill Leman, who has also exhibited with the Curwen Gallery. Jill and Martin Leman live in Islington, North London.