Alan James Thompson

Alan Thompson was born in Hyde, Cheshire in 1940. He studied at The Regional College of Art, Manchester from 1957 to 1961, obtaining N.D.D. in Painting and D.A. (Manc.). It was here that he studied painting under Harry Rutherford, Ian Grant, Harold Williamson, Douglas Dyson, Morgan Hewinson and Fred Dean. It was also there that he met Geoffrey Key amongst others, whom he later exhibited with occasionally in Manchester and various venues in the north west along with Trevor Grimshaw who he met some years later.

“Since leaving College, I have taught part time in various colleges and further education centers while continuing to paint. Since 1989, I have been painting full time. I work from observation, mainly from landscape and still life.

“I have been a member of Manchester Academy and have had work in The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and in the Royal Scottish Academy. Otherwise I have shown predominately in the north west

“I have studied other painters a great deal over the years in order to find a painterly means by which to best express the harmonies and rhythms in nature as simple and directly as possible, reduced to essentials, stripped of all irrelevant matter.

“I work directly from observation and am not interested in the light effects of a passing moment or in literary connotations, but in the question of form and structure used to try to give expression to the enduring features of the natural world and not be merely decorative.

“I feel that by working directly from observation, I can avoid mannerisms and cliches picked up from other painting. I want the painting to be a direct response to the subject in front of me, an attempt to grasp the essential planes and resolve the conflict between what I want and what actually exists. I am quite obsessive and will paint the same subject time after time in an attempt at filler expression.

“Imagination, for me, lies in finding the fullest expression in paint of what is in front of me, and not in imagining the thing itself. The drawing is not merely the appearance of form but includes all our feeling for form, solidity and density and gravity is the basis of everything.”


Solo Exhibitions –
Tib Lane Gallery, Manchester -1973, 1976, 1986
Salford Art Gallery – 1973, 1983
Haworth Art Gallery, Accrington – 1974, 1977
Torr Top Art Gallery, New Mills – 1974
Oldham Art Gallery – 1975, 1980, 1984
Astley Cheetham Gallery, Stalybridge – 1975, 1979
Pitcairn Gallery, Knutsford – 1978
Campion Gallery, Uppermill – 1978
Stockport Art Gallery – 1980, 1985, 2003, 2011
Artisan Gallery, Delph – 1983
Saddleworth Art Gallery – 1985
The Barn Gallery, Kermincham, Cheshire – 1992
Sultan Gallery, Lancaster – 2002
Renold Building, UMIST – 2004

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