Paul Wright British, b. 1973

Applying rich and airy paints with gestural brushwork, Paul Wright creates portraits, still lifes, and landscape scenes that burst with vitality. He has, over the course of his career, developed an instantly recognisable personal style that puts a fresh twist on familiar traditions.
Wright has exhibited with Thompson’s Gallery for 20 years. In that time, he was featured in shows across the US, Canada, and Brazil. Noted collectors include Prudential, Standard Chartered Bank, Accenture, P&O Cruises, and Texas State University.
The Leicester-born artist earned a degree in Illustration from the Falmouth School of Art in 1995 and continues to live and work in Leicestershire today.

Artist Statement

"After training as an Illustrator, I have spent the last 15 years developing a painterly language through which I seek to capture a vitality beyond the establishment of a mere 'likeness' to the subject. Whilst I appreciate the importance of the individual being recognisable, the subjects are glimpsed rather than exposed, their inner selves hinted at but ultimately inscrutable."

Painting style

Predominantly interested in the human head, Wright began doing portraits of colleagues and friends in a Howson-inspired style. Over the course of the next 15 years, he worked to push his style into a less literal, more painterly realm with great results and reception. Wright's chief aim thus remains to explore new ways to describe his subjects, resulting in likeness and abstraction in equal measure.
"Though I often work on a large, potentially imposing scale, the work remains approachable through fluency of brush mark and a rich palette. The spaces the subjects inhabit are often indeterminate, providing an atmosphere that allows for ambiguity of psychological states. The subjects retain their integrity and yet a sense of intimacy is evoked."
Paul Wright is popular today for his unique style, and has drawn comparisons across the years to greats like Freud, Auerbach and De Kooning. Paul's style indeed reflects the challenge he sets to capture the vitality of a subject rather than just a realistic interpretation. His works display a brilliant understanding of how pigments reflect light, and despite the bold contrast of strokes laid against one another, a clear image still rings through the harmoniously orchestrated palette.

Awards & Distinctions

Paul Wright is now a successful British artist with a recognised unique style which has earned him a place at the BP National Portrait Award on two occasions. Thompson's Gallery first encountered Wright at the National Gallery in the BP Portrait Award in 2006, and have been showing his works ever since.
Wright has received further awards from the National Gallery for the BP Award, with a second selection to the showcase in 2014, this time making the shortlist for grand prize. By this point the artist had also seen major success in solo exhibitions across the UK and gained greater exposure through multiple art fairs. He has since been published in two books, including the most recent 2016 monograph titled Fifteen Years, an accompaniment to his solo exhibition of the same title at Thompson's Gallery.

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