Paul Huxley

Acknowledged globally for his large scale bold and dynamic paintings, Huxley’s abstract work explores implied perspectives, combining stretched and distorted ellipses and shapes with flat blocks of colour and linear patterns to create dynamic illusions. He invites the viewer to unpick the paintings and consider why such elements have been considerately placed together.

Born in London in 1938, Huxley attended Harrow School of Art from 1951 – 1956 before enrolling into Royal Academy Schools at the age of 17. After extensive teaching experience he was appointed Professor of Painting at the Royal College of Art in 1986 where many now established artists such as Dino Chapman, Nigel Cook, Dexter Dalwood, Andrew Grassie, Tracey Emin, Chantal Joffe and Chris Ofili were his students. Upon finishing teaching in 1998 Huxley was elected Honorary Fellow and Professor Emeritus. He lives in West London, sharing the same complex of studios with Peter Blake and Ben Johnson.

Having grown up with the influence of American culture, a significant turning point for the artist was in 1964 when he won a Peter Stuyvesant Travel Award which saw him travelling to America. Spurred on by the excitement of experiencing the reality of life in the New World, he was introduced to many of the leading American artists of the period including Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner and Jasper Johns, visiting their studios and forming lifelong friendships with some. In 1965 he was awarded the Harkness Fellowship which took him to New York, funding a two years residency and resulting in his first solo show there. He rented a 100ft x 25ft loft which enabled him to realise his ambitions of scaling up his paintings and developing his shapes and compositions. By deconstructing the traditional monocentric format of American abstract paintings of the time, he created his initial studies for his so-called ‘key series’ works, which were seminal to the development of the divided canvases that have characterised his work ever since.

Huxley has spent the last 5 decades exhibiting in group and solo exhibitions all over the world. Some of his most iconic commissions include sets and costumes for the Rambert Dance Company (1991), wall drawings for the entrances to Pallant House Gallery, Chichester (2001) and Charing Cross Hospital, London (2011) and a room in the Azerbaijan International Pavilion for the Venice Biiennale (2015). His most recent solo exhibitions have been in the David Richard Gallery, Santa Fé, New Mexico and the Mark Rothko Art Centre in Daugavpils, Latvia.

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