Graham Crowley

I paint shadows. I’m intrigued by luminosity in painting. This is the driving force behind LIGHT INDUSTRY*. I’ve always been fascinated by those of Manet. The way in which the image and the painting (as its own object) can be seen simultaneously – fused together as a singleluminous entity. This remarkable duality is one of paintings defining characteristics.

I discovered my subject matter during a visit to Andy Tiernan Classics, a classic motorcycle dealer in Framlingham, Suffolk. It’s part workshop and part counter cultural ‘museum’. What I found enthralling about the place was thelight; a diffused, dusty kind of light that eminated from a grubby skylight. I thought this significant because I regard light as synonymous with life and luminosity as painting’s equivalent.

Creativity and class are long-standing preoccupations of mine, and one of the ways I’ve discovered to navigate these complex issues is by adopting a variety of graphic (or vernacular) devices. In this case it’s the low-tech duotone. My intention is to make paintings that are both luminous and their own object. This dictates the way I paint. I apply Paynes Grey pigment directly into the medium. Wet into wet, then glaze.

*This statement first appeared to accompany LIGHT INDUSTRY which won the first prize in the John Moores Painting Prize in 2023.

Graham Crowley : painter, writer, curator & teacher.
Born in 1950 in Romford, Essex. Attended St Martin’s College of Art 1968 – 1972. Subsequently attended the Royal College of Art 1972 – 1975. Became Artist-in-Residence to Oxford University & Visiting Fellow at St Edmund’s Hall 1982 – 1983. Then Senior Fellow at Cardiff Art School 1986 – 1989. Exhibited widely in the UK, Europe, USA, Canada & Asia. Work held in public and private collections in UK, Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan. Visiting lecturer at numerous art schools in UK, Ireland, USA and Canada. Head of Fine Art, City & Guilds of London Art School 1986 – 1998 and then Professor of Painting at the Royal College of Art 1998 – 2006. Winner of the John Moores Painting Prize 2023.

A full biography is available on Graham Crowley’s website.

artist’s website