Graham Crowley – In Conversation with Anna McNay
In the third of a series of online in conversation events with artists, painter Graham Crowley speaks about his work to art writer and journalist Anna McNay.
Crowley is clear in referring to himself as a painter, not an artist. He regards painting as a discourse and an occupation, which allows him to straddle the boundary between thought and action, fiction and nonfiction.
In conversation with McNay, Crowley will talk about the effect of the legacy of conceptualism on his practice – ‘it is a reminder of the complexity of the creative process and the need to constantly challenge assumptions and orthodoxies’ – and how he long resisted the academic orthodoxy’s view that painting was dead – by continuing to paint and subvert traditional genres. He will discuss how the acknowledgement of the dualism epitomised in the paintings of Manet – the ‘window on the world’ and the painting ‘as its own object’ – is fundamental to his work, as well as touching on the influences of romanticism, humanism and theosophy.
About Graham Crowley
Crowley is a practising painter and writer, born in Romford, Essex, in 1950. At the age of 18, he went to St Martin’s School of Art, where he studied painting. Four years later, he continued his studies at the Royal College of Art. He left the college in 1975. A few years later he became a visiting lecturer there.
In 1982, he became artist in residence to Oxford University and a visiting fellow of St Edmund Hall. In 1986, Crowley subsequently became senior fellow and artist in residence at Cardiff College of Art (as it was then), until 1989. After that, he taught at Goldsmiths College. Over the years, he has been a visiting lecturer at art schools throughout the UK and Ireland.
Crowley has exhibited widely in the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. He has work in many public and private collections worldwide. He has been selected 10 times and won prizes twice at the John Moores Liverpool Competition and, in 2008, he became a selector.
In 1998, he was appointed as professor of painting at the Royal College of Art. He held that post for eight years. During that time, he guest lectured extensively at numerous colleges and universities including Penn State, Nova Scotia College of Art and Christchurch in New Zealand.
On leaving the Royal College, Crowley went to live and work full time in Ireland. Since then, he has continued to exhibit and write about painting and fine art education. In 2015, he published a collection of essays entitled I Don’t Like Art. In 2019, he published a second book entitled A Love of Many Things. This was an expanded collection of essays and interviews. It accompanied two major solo exhibitions at the Peterborough Museum and the Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda, Co Louth.
Crowley currently lives and works in Suffolk.
About Anna McNay
Anna McNay is a freelance art writer and editor. She contributes regularly to Art Quarterly (Art Fund’s magazine, where she was previously Assistant Editor), Studio International, Photomonitor, Elephant magazine, Norwegian Arts, and The Flux Review, and has been widely published in a variety of other print and online art and photography journals and newspapers. She has written numerous catalogue essays, edited a number of books, and regularly hosts panel and in conversation events at galleries around London.
Friday 26th June
By attending this talk you understand that the Heatherley School of Fine Art will record these events for broadcast via YouTube and other media – and you agree to these terms. The Heatherley School of Fine Art is the owner of the rights to this content.