Alan Charlton was born in 1948 in Sheffield, U.K., and lives and works in the U.K.
The artist’s production consists of steps of the same path, the one that he started back in 1969 when he did his first grey painting as a student at the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts.
Charlton’s grey-only painting seemed to completely reflect his idea of painting, as indeed the artist’s statement ‘I am an artist who makes a grey painting’ contains the essence of his vision, to which he has been faithful for the last forty years. To Charlton, being an artist means making paintings as an everyday practice, a relentless work in the studio that needs to be done, with precision and dedication. Charlton is not and does not wish to be an artist in the revolutionary sense: what is revolutionary about him is the steadiness and resolution with which he works. Grey is for art the colour of modernity and urbanity; it brings together fullness and emptiness; it stands out for objectivity and functionality on the one hand, and for extreme emotion on the other: it sets itself apart from constructivist monochrome in a quest for purity as, for Charlton, grey is the most useful and emotional colour there is, being, for example, the colour of melancholy.
Important solo shows by Charlton have been at the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven (1976 e 1982); the Museum Haus Esters in Krefeld (1992); Museum Moderner Kunst Landkreis Cuxhaven in Otterndorf (1997) and Museum Kurhaus Kleve-Ewald Mataré-Sammlung a Kleve (2002). Among his group exhibitions we can mention Documenta 7 in Kassel in 1982 and Temi & Variazioni. Dalla grafia all’azzeramento at the Peggy Guggenheim in Veneice and Fundamental Painting at the Tate Britain, London (2010), Steven Aalders Alan Charlton Ulrich Erben at the Walter Storms Galerie, Monaco (2016), Carlos Cruz-Diez & la Donation Albers-Honegger. Dialogues concrets at the Espace de l’Art Concret in Mouans-Sartoux (2017).