Painter Gordon Onslow Ford will discuss the link between automatism and modern art in a lecture titled "Automatism and Spontaneity" at 8 tonight at the Newport Harbor Art Museum. Ford's lecture will be given in conjunction with the museum's exhibition of abstract surrealist and Expressionist drawings, "The Interpretive Link," today through Sept. 14. Ford is one of 22 artists featured in the exhibition.

Born in Westover, England, in 1912, Ford is a self-taught artist who settled in Paris after serving 10 years in the Royal Navy. He was enlisted by poet Andre Breton into the ranks of surrealism and is credited with the invention in 1939 of the surrealist technique of coulage , in which the artist pours enamel onto a canvas, letting the paint partially control the creation of the forms.

Ford moved to the United States in 1940 and gave a series of lectures on surrealism in 1941 at the New School for Social Research in New York. But he formally resigned from the movement the following year. He moved to San Francisco in 1948 in conjunction with a major exhibition of his work at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Currently, he lives in Inverness, Calif.

Admission to Ford's lecture is $4. For further information, call (714) 759-1122.

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