British artist Fred Yates (25 July 1922 – 7 July 2008) was born in Lancashire in 1922 and fought in World War II. After the war, he started painting in Manchester, following in the footsteps of L.S. Lowry, whom he greatly admired. Yates moved down to Cornwall and became a full-time painter in 1968.
Fred Yates is renowned for his en plein air naïve paintings and his bold colours and impasto brushwork. The beautiful coastlines, bustling fishing villages and the unique light of Cornwall suited his style of work and he became more publically recognised after exhibiting his work at the 1985 exhibition, ‘St Ives 1939–64’ at the Tate in London.
Fred Yates's paintings are a joyful, colourful celebration of people, their relationships with each other and the environments they live and play in. Like Lowry, Fred set out to paint pictures about the lives of ordinary people: " ... It is the man in the street that I'm after, whom I feel closest to, with whom I want to make friends and enter into confidence and connivance, and he is the one I want to please and enchant by means of my work".
In 2022-23 Penlee House Gallery held a major retrospective and celebration of Yates's work marking the centenary of his birth. Fred Yates's paintings can be found in the permanent collections of many public galleries and institutions including Brighton and Hove Art Gallery, Liverpool University, the University of Warwick, Torquay Art Gallery and the Russell Coates Gallery in Bournemouth. Fred’s works are joyous, colourful celebrations of people going about their daily lives, and are greatly sought after.