A reclusive figure whose work has remained largely unseen Finney studied under Eric Gill before winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in the early 1920’s; his closest were Charles Mahoney,(1903-1968), Gerald Ososki (1903-1981) and Barnett Freedman (1901-1958) . All four appear together in Freedman’s group portrait, The Stanhope Street Group (1926). Finney had the good fortune to attend the RCA as part of a generation that were to become amongst Britains best loved artists (Ravilious, Bawden, Hepworth, Moore, Dunbar, Sorrell, Piper etc).
Equally versatile when working on canvas or paper his compositions are characterised by a distinctive use of colour and design, similar in many ways to that of Ravilous, through which everyday scenes and topography are transformed through an underlying sense of pattern. Finney’s work is saturated with a the aesthetic now much associated with the mid-century Recording Britain project.
This painting is one of Finney’s rare excursions into pure abstraction. He experimented with this style in the 1950’s, in response to the more prevailing taste for such work in that period.