Alan Charlton

Year of birth, place
1948, Sheffield
Role at the ZKM
in the collection
Alan Charlton was born in Sheffield in 1948. He studied painting at Sheffield Art School, Camberwell School of Art and (1969-72) at the Royal Academy of Art, London. He lives in London.
In 1968, while still a student at the Royal Academy, Charlton started painting entirely in shades of grey, always using the same technique. The wooden stretchers, he used for his canvases were made out of strips that were 4-5 cm thick; and this provided the unit of measurement to which any blank spaces in the surface or any gaps between individual parts of the picture itself had to correspond. The height-length ratio oft the canvas as a whole (they were usually very elongated) was also related to this unit. In order to achieve a uniformally coloured surface that would not mask the structure of the canvas support, Charlton applied grey acrylic paint as thinly as possible. The traditional pictorial structure of a frame with canvas stretched over it is here, then, opposed to the absence of any painterly qualities. Charlton incorporated the exhibition space into work in as far as he responded to it in determining how his pictures were to be hung or, indeed, conceived these works with particular locations in mind.

Individual exhibitions (selection)
1972 Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
1976 Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven
1988 Michael Klein, New York
1989 Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
1991 Hallen für neue Kunst, Schaffhausen
1993 Museum Haus Esters, Krefeld
1994 Galerie nächst St. Stephan, Vienna
1995 Galerie Stadtpark, Krems; 2nd Floor Exhibition Space, Reykjavik
1996 Galerie Tschudi, Glarus; Annely Juda Fine Art, London
1997 Ridinghouse Editions, London; Carrée d'Art, Musée d'Art Contemporain, Nîmes
Group exhibitions (selection) 
1972 »Drawing«, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford
1973 »Prospect 73«, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf
1981 »New Spirit in Painting«, Royal Academy of Arts, London
1982 documenta VII, Kassel
1991 »After Ad Reinhardt: The Ecstasy of Denia«, Tomoko Ligouri Gallery, New York
1992 »Das offene Bild«, Westfälisches Landesmuseum, Münster
1993 »Singular Dimensions in Painting«, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
1994 »Conversation Pieces«, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia
1995 »From Here«, Waddington Galleries, London
1996 »Monochromie Geometrie«, Sammlung Goetz, Munich; »Squares or Lines«, Art & Public, Geneva

[David Richardt, 1997]