A mainly self-taught artist who became exceptionally well known for his paintings of anonymous groups of men in flat caps standing in various poses. John’s background was a humble one, coming from a working class family in Oldham where he was expected to leave school and get a job as soon as he was able.
He worked in various trades and began making paintings while working in a furniture store to improve the room display.
Five years of life drawing at an evening class provided him with the opportunity to extend his skills, but it was not till the age of 56 that he became a full-time artist.
He took space in the former Alexandra Centre in Uppermill which was to mark the beginning of his success, before moving onto a more permanent studio in Greenfield. A prolific artist, over the years John created thousands of these ‘Group Series’ paintings and there was a sense that these northern working-class men stood for all working men, at all times and in different circumstances. The variety of styles and the way the subject matter was handled were also prolific.
Over the last few years, John’s work has been widely collected both at home and abroad. He has been featured on television, Granada and Channel 4 and in 2002 three of his paintings were purchased by the House of Lords.
John Thompson, died on the 16 July 2011 at the age of 87.