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Rees won a scholarship to the Royal Academy schools where from 1932 to 1939 he was a contemporary of William Scott and was taught by Tom Mornington. His poor nervous health meant he was in need of constant supervision from 1935 onwards.
From 1939 to 1944 Rees concentrated on producing a series of large and original watercolour drawings in which he went against the realist trends of his earlier work.
Aldeburgh Festival Exhibition, Peter Pears Gallery, 9 -24 June 2006, catalogue number 24