If there is such a thing as a forgotten genius than John Caldas is it. A suburb technician, he nonetheless paints in the forceful expressionistic style that recalls Munch or, more locally, Theodore Major. The best of his paintings are simply astonishingly vivid and yet profound. Little wonder, that the critic Phillip Ward Green, writing in the Arts Review in 1983 called his” His ‘Women in Library’ : “ The finest new painting I have seen in years .. it ought to be in the Tate”.
Caldas was born in Manchester before moving to London as a young man. In London he enjoyed some success, and exhibited at both the Paris Salon and the Royal Academy. However, he was mistrustful of the art establishment and, increasingly disillusioned, gradually withdrew from exhibiting. Yet he continued to paint daily.
Yet quality in art is always recognised eventually and a body of work has emerged which is simply breathtaking in its imagination and execution. Make no mistake, Caldas is up there with the very best of modern British artists, though his prices have yet to reflect this.
In 2010, Philips Art Gallery in Manchester held a major retrospective.