“Alan Charlton is an artist who makes a grey painting” so goes the artist’s self-stated epigram. Alan Charlton is a contemporary British artist best known for his Minimalist paintings and installations. Born in 1948 in Sheffield, United Kingdom, he studied at the Camberwell School of Arts where he started his work of producing only grey paintings.
In the seventies, Charlton decided to make monochromatic paintings using only shades of grey and canvases with dimensions of 4.5 cm. His conceptual works are frequently composed of simple geometric forms, such as a single triangle or rectangle broken into modular elements. He even stated about his practice: “I want my painting to be: abstract, direct, urban, basic, modest, pure, simple, silent, honest, absolute”. He considered the grey colour the epitome of ordinary, but quickly realized the colour’s potential and expressiveness.
Although, Alan Charlton always worked using these strict parameters, he quickly realized he could explore a wide variety of formal possibilities and combinations using his limited materials. He tends to work serially and methodically. Therefore, the balanced of mostly several grey panels give the paintings a monumental and specific expression.
His work was showed in many museums and galleries around Europe such as in the Netherlands at Art&Project; the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the Van Abbemuseum; in Germany at Konrad Fisher Galerie and recently at the Museum Kurhaus Kleve; in Italy at Castello di Rivoli, Torino; in Switzerland at Galerie Tschudi and in London at Annely Juda Gallery and at the Tate Modern. His work has been collected worldwide by prestigious public and private collections.
Alan Charlton currently lives and work in London.
Alan Charlton, 11 Vertical Parts, 1984, oil on canvas, 243 x 243 cm (in 11 parts)