Albert Louden grew up with a limited exposure to art. There is little point in looking for any artistic influences in the conventional sense, for he is entirely self-taught. As the art critic John Russell Taylor wrote for the introduction of the 2001 exhibition at Whitford Fine Art, ‘a Louden painting is immediately recognisable because it does not look like anybody else’s. This surely is a basic requirement of serious art, but it is surprising how few well known artists can live up to this identity.’
Born in 1943 in Blackpool, Albert Louden moved with his family at the end of World War II to the East End of London, which has remained his home all his life. His art has a teasing intimacy and complexity, even if achieved by very simple means. Louden is not at all ‘naive’ in the accepted sense. On the contrary, there is a genuine confidence about his painting. Louden has invented his own visual world of urban spaces, domestic interiors and outdoor scenes populated by heavily distorted figures. Although his paintings also include serene alpine landscapes, Louden’s subject is generally the human figure represented through broad areas of colour and heavy outlines revealing a passion for vivid colour masses. His characters seem to emerge from what André Breton called ‘the interior space’. The extreme distortion of his people is never for formal reasons. It is as though they were forced to accommodate their bodies to the limited space available. The single figures appear to be trapped, even within other figures, often projecting a series of human dramas and social tension. This has not compromised Louden’s down-to-earth attitude, a mixture of Cockney spirit and fatalism.
Louden’s work is still as challenging and enigmatic today as it was 30 years ago when he was first discovered by talent scout supremo, the late Victor Musgrave of the legendary Gallery One. Since Louden’s 1985 sell-out one man show at London’s landmark Serpentine Gallery, his works have been extensively shown worldwide. He is now represented in many private galleries and museum collections in Europe and America.
Date Information: Monday to Friday
10am - 6pm
Location Information: Whitford Fine Art
6 Duke Street St. James's
London SW1Y 6BN