William Crozier (1930-2011) Untitled Oil on board, 91 x 71.5...

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William Crozier (1930-2011) Untitled Oil on board, 91 x 71.5cm (35¾ x 28'') Signed William Crozier’s first solo show, mostly of collages, at the Parton Gallery in London in 1957, put him firmly on the contemporary art map, though it is possible that he wasn’t altogether satisfied with the direction his work was taking at the time. The following year, besides holding on to a studio in the city, he rented a cottage close to the village of Pebmarsh in northern Essex. As luck would have it, he had settled on a remote location just in time to experience an exceptionally long, severe winter. ​Rather than retreating back to London, he seems to have relished the hard conditions and the desolate terrain. But then, he had not been drawn to the countryside for its picturesque qualities. Rather, he sought out a landscape that reflected what he saw as the ominous state of the world, and he found a stark beauty in the burnt stubble of the windswept fields. He had taken part in the first anti-nuclear Aldermaston March at Easter 1958 and something of the anxiety of the time over potential nuclear conflict and environmental devastation finds its way into his work. From our vantage point it seems to anticipate the current environmental crises. ​His landscapes of the time, with boldly stated earth colours, are dynamic, high-contrast compositions made with looping rhythms that enclose whirlpools of energy. As several commentators have observed, they are not about capturing a sense of place but address our relationship to landscape in a more universal way. ​​Born in Yoker, Glasgow to parents from Antrim, Crozier attached great importance to his Irish connections, though rather than encouraging a sense of Irish - or Scottish - identity, it set him firmly against insular notions of identity, and he saw himself as a European. After studying art in Glasgow he spent time in Paris and relished the bohemian, intellectual life of the Left Bank. Anthony Cronin became a good friend in Dublin and they spent time in Spain, another artistically formative experience. Without doubt, his later connection with nature in Ireland - he and his wife Katherine Crouan bought a cottage in West Cork in the early 1980s and later settled there - revitalised his painting and printmaking, and the Irish art public, enraptured with his innovative take on the Irish landscape, took him to their hearts. Aidan Dunne, April 2024

Auction Date:
29th May 24 at 6pm BST

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Sale Dates:
29th May 2024 6pm BST (Lots 1.00 to 124.00)