William Crozier: Nature into Abstraction

14 February 2024 to 22 March 2024 PIANO NOBILE

William Crozier, Dried Lake, Essex, 1959

Remarkable series of landscape-inspired paintings produced by the Scots/Irish artist William Crozier

Brought together again after five decades, a series of landscapes by artist William Crozier will be displayed at Piano Nobile at the start of 2024, showcasing why he became one of the leading artists of the post-war generation.

Produced between 1958 and 1961 when the artist was temporarily living in north Essex, the daring and original landscapes are infused with an existential angst common in Crozier´s work. Over 30 works will be on display, some that have not been seen for a generation, showing a painter who throughout his career walked a tightrope between representation and abstraction.

The artist was in his late twenties when he began commuting back and forth between the urban streets of London in the week, and the isolated rural settings of an Essex cottage with his family on the weekend. Works such as Essex Wilderness (1960) and Essex Landscape (1959) depict bleak winter fields, twisted brambles and atmospheric marshland with sweeps of pure colour. They highlight Crozier’s original style that reconciled both naturalistic observation with forceful painterly gestures.

Although the Essex setting brought on an important development in the artist´s painting, the exact landscape itself was secondary to the human emotion and experience that Crozier preferred to capture. Most of the pictures were executed in London, and Crozier´s widow Katharine Crouan remarked that Crozier would often finish his landscapes in places far away from where he first collected and stored their views. The landscapes could therefore be categorised as imagined or reinvented, imbued with Crozier´s own influences and obsessions.    

This exhibition, which has been organised in collaboration with the William Crozier Estate, will demonstrate how an artist responded against the popular American Abstract Expressionism of the time, and drew on a strong personal sense of European identity to create works that reflect the anxieties of the age. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication featuring an insightful essay by the art writer and editor Thomas Marks.

Further Information:  William Crozier | 14 February - 22 March 2024