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 William Crozier  (1930 - 2011)

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Lived/Active: United States/Ireland/United Kingdom/England/Scotland      Known for: abstract landscape, still life and figure paintings

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
William Crozier HRHA (b.1930)

The Irish-Scots contemporary still-life and landscape artist, William Crozier, was born in Glasgow to Irish parents, and spent his youth in the quiet seaside town of Troon from where he and his family made regular trips to Ireland.  He first studied drawing and fine art painting at the Glasgow School of Art, after which he spent time in Paris and other European cities in the early 1950s.

In his earlier days, Crozier was profoundly influenced by post-war existential philosophy, and was associated with contemporary European art throughout the 1950s and 1960s, rather than with the more fashionable American abstract artists.  He spent 1963 in southern Spain with the Irish poet Anthony Cronin, an experience which had an enormous effect on his development as an artist.

On his return to the UK, he began a series of skeletal paintings, which pre-dated the 'New Expressionist' German painters of the 1980s, and which were shaped by Crozier's visits to the death camps of Auschwitz and Belsen.  Based in London during most of the 1960s and 1970s, William Crozier showed his pictures in Britain, Ireland and all over Europe.  In the 1980s, Crozier's art bloomed with new vigour.

In his abstract landscape painting and still-life pictures Crozier utilizes sumptuous colour in order to convey an unusual emotional intensity.  He often uses rapid, expressive brushstrokes, in bright, contrasting colours, and frequently ignores traditional rules of perspective and structure. Influenced by French and German expressionism, Crozier's landscapes are inspired by a variety of regions, including Spain and County Cork, where he now lives.

Crozier has represented both the UK and Ireland overseas. In Milan, he was awarded the Premio Lissone, and in Dublin the Oireachtas Gold medal for Irish Painting (1994). In Cork, the Crawford Art Gallery and the Royal Hibernian Academy curated a retrospective of his work (1991). In 1992, he was elected to Aosdana and was elected an honorary member of the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA). In 2005 he celebrated his 75th birthday with a major exhibition in Cork to celebrate the European Capital of Culture. He lives in West Cork.

Crozier's paintings can be seen in most major public and private collections in the UK and Ireland, and in the National Galleries of Canada, Poland and Australia, among many others. He is also represented in the following public collections: City Art Gallery (Aberdeen), Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Edinburgh), The Ulster Museum, Irish Museum of Modern Art (Dublin), Royal Hibernian Academy (Dublin), Crawford Municipal Gallery (Cork), City Art Gallery (Birmingham), The European Commission (Brussels), Museum of Modern Art (Copenhagen), Peter Styvesant Collection, Museum of Modern Art (Dallas), Office of Public Works (Dublin), Victoria and Albert Museum (London), National Gallery of Australia (Melbourne), National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), and the National Museum (Warsaw), City Art Gallery (Gdansk).

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