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William Crozier (Glasgow, 1930 – Wickham, 2011)
From 1949 to 1953 Crozier attended the Glasgow School of Art and then went to Paris for further studies. In 1954 he moved to Dublin where, apart from his own painting, he worked as a scenery painter. He then moved to London where his solo shows at the ICA, the Serpentine, and other galleries brought him to the forefront of British art.
During this period he began to frequent painters and poets, including Francis Bacon, Gregory Corso, and Allen Ginsberg; he also began be affected by his reading of existentialist authors. His existentialist attitude led him to reject current trends in American art in favor of European traditions, even though he was always open to new influences. The basic assertion of existentialism, that every man is responsible for his own freedom, was also reflected in his way of working: if the first brushstrokes he made seemed wrong he would destroy the work at once. In fact his painting immediately impresses with its immediacy, vibrant colors, and dramatic contrasts, its underlying expressionism tempered by an almost childlike view of the world.
In 1956 he moved to Folkestone on the English coast. In 1959 he won the first prize in the Premio Lissone competition.
He continued to welcome new experiences in art. On a visit to the Balkans in the 1970s he was impressed by its folk art, and a later trip to Moscow revealed the full glory of icon painting to him.
In 1973 he became an Irish citizen and from then on divided his life between Ireland and Hampshire in England. He continued to teach, first at Bath Academy of Art, then at the Central School of Art, London. He later taught at the Studio School in New York and at Winchester School of Art.
His work is to be found in numerous important international public collections, including the Copenhagen Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; the Dallas Museum of Modern Art, U.S.A.; the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, UK; the Gdansk National Museum, Poland; the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK; the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada; the Warsaw National Museum, Poland; and the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin.