Alan Charlton was born in 1948 in Sheffield, England. He studied at the Camberwell School of Art in London from 1966–1969, and during his tenure there decided to only produce gray paintings, citing its emotional qualities and mutability.
Uniformly painted gray, his conceptual works are frequently composed of simple geometic forms, such as a single triangle or rectangle broken into modular elements. “I want my paintings to be: abstract, direct, urban, basic, modest, pure, simple, silent, honest, absolute,” the artist has said of his practice. Charlton originally chose grey because of its ordinary quality but he rapidly recognised that the colour held special characteristics. Consequently the paintings are far more expressive than anticipated. Immaculate surfaces are interrupted by form and rhythm is generated by broken repetition.
Charlton’s work has been gaining recognition since the 1970s, and has been exhibited at institutions such as the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Castello di Rivoli in Torino, and the Tate in London. He currently lives and works in London, England.