Alexander Creswell

Biography

Alexander Creswell (born 1957) is an internationally celebrated artist known for his extraordinary fluency and technical skill in watercolour.  He is largely self-taught.  His distinctive style in watercolour combines subtle colouring and skillful draughtsmanship alongside a deep reverence for natural light.

Creswell has established himself as foremost in architectural painting and is known internationally for his exceptional ability to capture ‘the spirit of place’.

‘He has an ability unique amongst his generation to capture both the appearance and the atmosphere of a building…’  HRH The Prince of Wales, Out of the Ashes

Creswell has consistently fought to bring watercolour to the forefront of academic painting, he relishes the challenge of pushing the boundaries of his medium with incredible results.  His ground-breaking ‘grand scale’ watercolours are the largest ever painted.

‘Watercolour is reputedly the most difficult of artist’s media… 

Perversely watercolour appealed for another reason – having been completely out of fashion in the twentieth century, rejected and forgotten, watercolour was dismissed as a medium only suitable for Victorian ladies, not a medium for the ‘consideration of great art’ as Sir Joshua Reynolds had proscribed in the 1770s.  So, not only challenging technically but also deeply unfashionable.  Even better.’  Alexander Creswell

Alongside the privilege of working for some the great international collectors of today, recognition of his work has brought many important commissions.  Most recently an exceptional collection of paintings of Westminster Abbey have been acquired by the Dean & Chapter of Westminster Abbey. These are to be exhibited at the Abbey and published as a book ‘Glimpses of Eternity‘.  Other commissions include The Royal Collection, HM Queen Elizabeth II, The Frick Museum and Forbes Collection in New York, amongst many others. In 1992 Creswell was commissioned by The Royal Collection to depict Windsor Castle after the fire and it’s restoration in 1997.  These paintings were exhibited at Windsor Castle and published in the book Out of the Ashes.  

Travel is an essential component of Creswell’s work, he sketches constantly on his many trips bringing material back to his studio in the UK. He has painted extensively throughout Europe, the USA, Russia, Egypt, the Far East and the Middle East. He recently created a collection of paintings from the Silk Road in Uzbekistan, and he is currently working on a series from Jerusalem and the Holy Land.

Creswell is a pioneer. Amongst his vast scale works the 2014 ‘Great Ceiling’ painting for a private client in Manhattan was probably the most challenging. In 2006 Creswell’s ‘Grand Scale’ paintings were first exhibited in New York  demonstrating an unrivalled technical skill. Their impact was as great as their size.  Creswell was rebelling against the tradition of small scale watercolours.  He pushed his medium to new heights of experimentation and the results were described as “nothing short of extraordinary”. Creswell relishes the enormous technical challenges which these larger works present and he finds the opportunity to paint on such a scale hugely liberating.  The results are breath-taking. Since then Alexander has continued to work on big paintings alongside his more traditionally sized watercolours.

Alexander Creswell exhibits regularly to critical acclaim in New York, London and the Dubai.  He is married and lives in Surrey, UK, with his wife and 3 children.

 

1957 Born Helsinki, Finland

Public Exhibitions Include:

2016 Cow Parade, Surrey, UK

2016 On the Silk Road, Watts Gallery, Surrey, UK

2015 Companions in Art, HRH The Prince of Wales & Alexander Creswell, Watts Gallery, Surrey, UK

2015 Masterpiece, Hirschl & Adler Galleries, London

2010 Full Sail, Falmouth Art Gallery, Cornwall

2003 Re-presenting Representation, Arnot Art Museum, New York

2002 Royal Treasures – A Golden Jubilee Celebration, The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London

2001 In Ruins – Artists & Ruins, The Holburne Museum of Art, Bath

1997 Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London

Solo Exhibitions Include:

2016 On the Silk Road, Watts Gallery, Surrey, UK

2015 Companions in Art, HRH The Prince of Wales & Alexander Creswell, Watts Gallery, Surrey, UK

2015 MASTERPIECE, Hirschl & Adler Galleries, London

2013 IMAGES on a Grand Scale, Touring exhibition at Summers Place Auctions, Sussex, UK & Grange Park Opera, Hampshire, UK

2012 Fire & Light, Hirschl & Alder Galleries, New York

2010 En Plein Air, Portland Gallery London

2010 Aqua Terra, Hirschl & Alder Galleries, New York

2009 Chasing the Breeze, Portland Gallery, London

2009 Oman, Art Dubai, Majilis Gallery, Dubai

2008 Venice Only, Portland Gallery, London

2008 Looking Through, Majlis Gallery, Dubai

2006 Watercolors on a Grand Scale, Hirschl & Alder Galleries, New York

2004 In Pursuit of Enlightenment – New Watercolors, Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York

2002 Power & Glory – Sicilian Baroque, John Martin of London

2001 Reflections of New York, Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York

2000 On Tour with the Prince, Watercolours & Drawings Fair, London/The British Council Touring Exhibition: Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania

2000 Out of the Ashes – Watercolours of Windsor Castle, Windsor Castle

1999 South-Western Approaches – The Cornish Sublime, New Academy Gallery, London

1998 Grange Park & Arcadia, Grange Park Opera, Hampshire

1997 In an Antique Land – Egypt, Spink-Leger Pictures, St. James’s, London

1995 Hong Kong & China, Spink & Son at the China Club, Hong Kong

1994 Windsor Castle after the Fire and Russia & Imperial Europe, Spink & Son, St. James’s, London

1992 Italy and Czechoslovakia, Cadogan Gallery, London

1991 The Silent Houses of Britain, Spink & Son, St. James’s, London

Country Houses, Atlantic Hotel, Jersey

1990 Silent Houses – Working Drawings, Addison Ross Gallery, Chelsea, London

1989 A Selection of Watercolours, Arthur Andersen & Co., London

1988 Interiors, Fine Art Trade Guild Gallery, London

1987 Silent Houses, The Ritz Hotel, Piccadilly, London

Lakes and Lake Designs, Jonathan Poole Gallery, London

1986 Country Houses, Addison Ross Gallery, London

1985 Paintings from Petra, Brussels Europa Hotel

Watercolours of South Africa, Addison Ross Gallery, London

1984 Jersey & the Channel Islands, Le Gallais Gallery, Jersey

A Tour of South Africa, Crake Gallery, Johannesburg

Commissions Include:

Numerous Private Commissions throughout Europe, the Americas and the Far East

The Royal Collection, Windsor After The Fire & After the Restoration

The Duchess of Northumberland, Alnwick Gardens Project

HM The Queen, Lying in State of HM The Queen Mother

The House of Lords, Lying in State of HM The Queen Mother

HRH The Prince of Wales’s

The Duchy of Cornwall

The Parliamentary Art Collection, Westminster

English Heritage

The Frick Museum

Many Institutions & Corporations

Education

Winchester College, England

Byam Shaw School of Drawing & Painting, London

West Surrey College of Art & Design, Farnham

1991-99 Tutor at The Prince of Wales’s Institute of Architecture, London

1998 Official Artist on HRH The Prince of Wales’s Tour of Central Europe

Clubs and Associations:

Awarded the 2008 Arthur Ross Award for Excellence in the Classical Tradition (Fine Arts), New York

I.N.T.B.A.U. (International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism)

Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America, New York

Art Workers’ Guild, London

Royal Cornwall Yacht Club, UK

The Farmers Club, London

Bentley Drivers Club