William Crozier Irish/Scot, 1930-2011

William Crozier was born in Glasgow to Irish parents. After graduating from the Glasgow School of Art (1949-1953), he spent time in Paris and Dublin before settling in London. From the 1980s, when he set up studios in Ireland and the UK, Crozier's painting of the landscape blossomed with an extraordinary radiance that takes inspiration from eastern European as much as western art. His depictions of the Mediterranean, Irish and English countryside summon the powerful experience of nature, while his modest table top arrangements are rendered with a bold monumentality that extends beyond the domestic proportions of the still life genre.

 

Intensely vibrant, Crozier’s prints share the characteristic energy and luminosity of his paintings, comprised of bold symbols, patterns and abstracted planes of colour. Norman Ackroyd, CBE, RA wrote that for Crozier, making prints:“…could simply be another and very beautiful way of drawing in colour”.

 

From the 1990s onwards, Crozier worked closely with printers at Graphic Studio Dublin, the Stoney Road Press and the Berardinelli family in Verona, Italy. Crozier likened these collaborations to playing in a jazz ensemble, saying: “…one guy doesn’t know what the rest are going to do. With the colours of the band, a good musician is listening to the other person, and he’ll wait and come in on the right [note], and then someone else will come in.”

 

Based in London throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Crozier exhibited his works in London, Glasgow, Dublin and all over Europe. As many artists of the 1960s did, Crozier combined painting with teaching, first at Bath Academy of Art, (with Howard Hodgkin, Gillian Ayres and Terry Frost),then at the Central School of Art and Design(with William Turnbulland Cecil Collins), at the Studio School in New York and finally at Winchester School of Artwhere he led a strong centre for painting based on the European tradition.


He was awarded the Premio Lissone in Milan and the Oireachtas Gold medal for Painting in Dublin. In 1991 the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork and the Royal Hibernian Academy, of which he is an honorary member, curated a retrospective of his work.