Born in Luton, in 1927, John Plumb studied at the Byam School of Art, the Luton School of Art and the Central School of Art and Design in London, alongside Victor Pasmore and William Turnbull. Plumb's works reflect his admiration for American Color Field painting and hard-edge painting. From the mid 1950's, Plumb produced paintings with large fields of a single colour, including narrow strips on the edge of different colours. This was intended to optically enhance the emotional impact of the central, major and ususally intense hue.


Plumb was represented in the AIA abstract exhibitions in 1953 and 1957, the 'Situation' exhibitions in 1960 and 1961 and in group exhibitions at Leverkusen, the Hayward Gallery, Olympia and Tate Britain. Solo exhibitions include the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, London Arts Gallery, Bohun Gallery, Henley-on-Thames and the Atkinson Gallery, Somerset.