Curriculum Vitae

 

Paul Gopal-Chowdhury was born in India in 1949 and moved to London when he was ten. He studied at Camberwell School of Art, London 1967-68 and the Slade School of Fine Art, London 1968-73. In 1973-74 he taught at Chelsea School of Art, London and won a Boise travelling scholarship and a French Government scholarship to paint landscapes in France. Also in 1974 he exhibited in British Painting '74, at the Hayward Gallery, London.

In a career spanning over 40 years his painting evolved in different ways. During the late 1970s and early eighties he was known for large paintings of standing nudes, which were exhibited at the Hayward Gallery and the Serpentine Gallery, London in 1979, and other venues throughout England. Then, in the early and mid eighties, he painted a number of large still-life paintings which alluded to Chardin and Manet. In the mid and late eighties, he painted a series of large figure studies, sometimes with card-playing as a theme; these referred back to paintings of the same theme by Caravaggio, the Le Nain brothers and Cézanne.

There was a turning point in 1991 when he had a show titled "Angels and Streetwomen", at Benjamin Rhodes' gallery, London. For the first time, he didn't sell anything, although reviews for the show were good. Previous collectors and some friends thought he had thrown away his early career. The title alone upset some. The paintings were about perception and how something seen can have an explosive effect. They weren't pornographic or titillating, the Streetwomen were emblematic of a society where people are seen as commodities and lose their humanity.

However, there was a positive aspect: the Streetwomen enabled Gopal-Chowdhury to move on to mythical images (derived from earlier Indian art), which were weightless, passing through time, in a way that would have been impossible to conceive before. He showed some of these to galleries in London but no-one at that time could see the point of combining mythical Indian images with contemporary life, so Gopal-Chowdhury went to New York with some examples of these paintings on paper. Several important galleries liked the new work and the Phyllis Kind gallery included him in a four artists show. He then had to decide if he would leave London and move to New York. After thinking it over, he decided to stay on in London and not exhibit, just paint until the art climate in London changed.

This took longer than he anticipated. For 11 years Gopal-Chowdhury didn't exhibit at all, just painted. The climate of art in London remained much the same, but in 2002 he started to exhibit again. His first exhibition at Art Space Gallery, London was called " Paintings of Heaven and Hell"; the next in 2004 was "A Time of Demons"; in 2006 came "Habits of eating, sleeping and anxiety"; in 2008, "Down deep" and in 2013, "Everything in the Garden".

He continues to live and paint in London.


 Solo Exhibitions

 2013 Everything in the Garden - Art Space Gallery, London
 2008 Down Deep - Art Space Gallery, London
 2006 Habits of Eating, Sleeping and Anxiety - Art Space Gallery, London
 2004 A Time of Demons - Art Space Gallery, London
 2002 Paintings of Heaven and Hell - Art Space Gallery, London
 1991 Benjamin Rhodes Gallery, London
 1988 Quay Arts Centre, Isle of Wight
  Benjamin Rhodes Gallery London
 1986 Benjamin Rhodes Gallery, London
 1984-85 Kettle's Yard Gallery, Cambridge touring to Axiom Gallery, Cheltenham and Oldham Art Gallery
 1981 Ian Birkstead Gallery
 1980 Newcastle-upon-Tyne Polytechnic Art Gallery
  Arts Centre, New Metropole, Folkstone


 Selected Group Exhibitions

 2013 Flashback, Celebrating 25 Years - Art Space Gallery, London
 2009 Anglo-Indian Express - Grosvenor/Vadehra Gallery, London
 2009 Winter Journey - Art Space Gallery, London
 2007 Winter Journey - Art Space Gallery, London
 2005 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London
 2004 Visions of London - Art Space Gallery, London
 2003-04 The Divine Comedy - Art Space, London
 2003 Different Landscapes - Art Space Gallery, London (with Ray Atkins, Miguel Barcelo, Rainer Fetting, Alex Katz and John Lessore)
 2002 From the Figure - University Gallery Northumbria University
 2001 Garden of Earthly Delights - Art Space Gallery, London
 1997 British Figurative Art - Painting the Human Figure - Flower East Gallery, London
 1996 John Moores Liverpool Exhibition 19 - Walker Gallery, Liverpool
 1995 Phyllis Kind Gallery - New York with Gladys Nisson, Barbara Rossi and Ray Yoshida
 1994-95 Small is Beautiful - Part 12 - Flower East Gallery, London
 1993 Beautiful Blooms - Lamont Gallery, London
  Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London  - (Invited Artist)
 1992 Heads - Lamont Gallery, London
  Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London - (Invited Artist)
  As I See Myself, Artist in their Works - Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery
 1991 Modern Paintings - A Memorial Exhibition for Peter Fuller, Manchester City Art Gallery
  The Face - Prema Art Centre, Dursley, Gloucester
 1988 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London - (Invited Artist)
  Guirey and Gopal-Chowdhury - Benjamin Rhodes Gallery, London
  Benjamin Rhodes Gallery Opening Exhibition, London
 1983 John Moores Liverpool Exhibition XIII - Walker Gallery, Liverpool
  The Whitechapel Open Exhibition, London
 1981 Tolly Cobbold Third National Exhibition and Tour
  Imperial Tobacco Portrait Award, 2nd Prize - National Portrait Gallery, London
 1979 Hayward Annual - Hayward Gallery, London
  Drawings - The New Ashgate Gallery Surrey
  The Whitechapel Open Exhibition, London
  Imperial Tobacco Portrait Award - National Portrait Gallery, London
  Summer Show 3 - Serpentine Gallery, London
 1978 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London
 1975 Painters of Mystery, Reality and Illusion - Rochdale Art Gallery
 1974 British Painting '74 - Hayward Gallery, London
  John Moores Exhibition. Liverpool
  Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London
 1973 Royal Society of Oil Painters, London
 1972 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London
 1971 The London Group


 Public Collections

  Bolton Art Gallery
  British Council
  The Peace Palace, The Hague
  Chase Manhattan Bank, New York
  Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge
  De Beers Limited
  The Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge
  Newcastle-upon-Tyne Polytechnic
  Contemporary Art Society
  Chelmsford and Essex Museum
  Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery
  Coopers Deloitte


 Bibliography

 1991-92 Art Issues No3, Winter - Mog Johnstone
  Arts Review, April - Charles Hull
  Spectator, March - Giles Auty
  The Daily Telegraph, March - Martin Gayford
 1988 Modern Painters II, May - Martin Golding
  Arts Review, April - Celia de la Hey
  The Daily Telegraph, March - Richard Dorment
 1987 Arts Review, March - Elizabeth Hilliard
  The Times, March - David Lee
 1986 The Spectator, February - Giles Auty
  Artscribe, April/May - Tony Godfrey
  Lam, February - Robin Dutt
 1984 The Times, Spetember - Sarah Jane Checkland
 1982 New York Times, USA - John Russel
 1981 Arts Review, October - Hetty Einzig
  Sunday Times, October - Marina Vaizey
  Time Out - Lucy Ellman
 1980 The Guardian - William Varley
 1979 Artforum, October - Peter Fuller


 Publications by the Artist

 1987 Reviving the Figurative Tradition - Landscape, October
 1986 Portrait of the Artist - The Artist's and Illustrator's Magazine, December
  Artist's Thoughts on the Seventies in Words and Pictures - Studio International, Volume 195
 1979 Painting from Life - Hayward Annual Catalogue
  My Painting - Artscribe No.18
   

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