The painter Ray Atkins works on a monumental scale. He will be 80 this year and still works outside, in places that he loves, come rain or shine, in the same driven way that he has since the 1960s.
Between 1968 and 1974 he lived in Reading, teaching at the University. He produced an impressive body of work in response to the dramatic changes going on in the town centre. The Inner Distribution Road, The Butts Shopping Centre and The Civic Centre were all constructed during this time and Atkins observed their progress and made huge, expressive paintings on site.
At the end of this period of creative activity Ray was honoured with a solo exhibition at the prestigious Whitechapel Gallery and included in ‘British Art 74’. He was subsequently overlooked by the people who wrote the history books but is now gaining a cult following among a new generation of young painters. Come and see what all the fuss is about.
The Museum is showing 12 of the great Reading paintings with an accompanying programme of activities, including a public masterclass at a town centre site with Ray himself. See Art in the Dark Months events.