A tribute to Anthony Green RA who died on the 14th of February 2023.
Anthony was a much-loved member and supporter of The London Group, elected in 1964 and one of the longest serving members. He became an associate academician in 1971 and a full RA in 1977, he was also a member of the New English Art Club. Born in 1939 he went to the Slade from 1956 to 1960 when he received a French Government scholarship to Paris where he lived for a year before returning to the UK, to marry Mary Cozens-Walker who he had met at the Slade where they were both students. He has had over 80 solo exhibitions in many cities worldwide and twice stood for the Royal Academy presidency.
I remember 2002 organising an exhibition with him, Tony Whishaw and Gus Cummins as The Three RA’s at the Woodlands Gallery to gain some publicity for the LG. He was a lovely man great to converse with and I was surprised when he told me he had started out with earlier work in a loose expressionist style influenced by Bomberg. After this, he concentrated on scenes from his own domestic life with loving detail, especially of his wife Mary, through idiosyncratic, frequently erotic and humorous odd-shaped canvases, with compound cut-out perspectival effects through a fish-eye lens. Mainly chronicling his family and surroundings Anthony maintained that the pictures in his mind had no edges and did not have to be contained within a rectangular form.
His was a quirky non-conformist style with multiple viewpoints, split narratives and a vivid imagination. Mary as his subject matter was depicted with much love and passion. He said, “to be an artist over a period of 50 years, you can’t just do it through inspiration. You’ve got to have artistic intelligence, to think your way through your art and plan, achieve, develop.” This is precisely what Anthony Green did throughout his artistic life with a singular vision. I felt, reflecting on his lifetime love for his wife Mary who had died at age 82 in 2020, that he should have died on the morning of St Valentines Day somehow was relevant.
May Anthony rest in peace, he will be missed by many but his art will live on.
Peter Clossick PPLG, 2023