Critics of art and the bean-counting administrative heads of the major museums of the world tend to eschew intelligent art. One can demonstrate the truth of this.
However tragic this may be to an individual in his lifetime--esteem is a significant part of the reciprocal dialog between artist and viewer–its continued existence after the death of the artist is significant
and raises the question of the depth of feeling, perhaps envy, engendered. However, there are hopeful signs. In 1999, the Tate museum did a retrospective of Ayrton's paintings from the 1940's and 1950's that was well received.
I had the pleasure of viewing it in person.
I would predict, were it possible to redo history, Ayrton to be the logical recipient of the baton of sculpture, had he lived. Henry Moore, the unquestioned fore-runner would likely have been succeeded by Ayrton.
Instead, this position seems to be occupied by Barbara Hepworth, a formidable sculptress, but one, however, not in possession of Michael Ayrton's depth and intelligence.