The artist William Crozier takes pride in describing himself as a 'European citizen', and throughout his life Crozier has allied himself and his work consciously with European art and thought. Scottish by birth, Crozier spent his formative years in Paris and Dublin before settling in London, where he quickly gained a reputation as the 1950s equivalent of a Young British Artist. This autumn, Crozier returns to the capital after 10 years, having previously exhibited widely in Dublin, Edinburgh and continental Europe. An eagerly anticipated major exhibition of new and previously unshown work opens at Flowers East this October.
From the 1980s, when he set up studios in Ireland and the UK, Crozier's painting of the landscape has blossomed with an extraordinary radiance and can be seen to have taken inspiration from eastern European as much as western art. His still-lifes, which are invariably taken from a subject near to hand in the home, use brilliant colour to engineer the emotional intensity of the paintings. Says Crozier 'The still life can be seen in the same category as chamber music, the jazz quartet, the short poem or the songs of Mahler or Gershwin.'
Crozier remains concerned with developing the language of figurative painting. In a recent interview he said 'I have found that I can only paint that to which I have grown accustomed: objects or landscapes which excite or delight after long familiarity.' Nowhere is this more evident than in his highly sought-after vibrant and tautly composed landscapes of West Cork, where he spends long periods of time. The paintings capture the essence and look of the landscape in ways that the visitor will immediately recognise. Crozier believes that when painting the Irish landscape he must 'Tell the truth. Say it simply.'
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