Artist Biography - Geoffrey Key
Geoffrey Key was born in Manchester in 1941 and has lived in Salford for over 40 years. His early education was at Manchester’s High School of Art and then in 1958 at Manchester Regional College of Art where he gained the National Diploma of Design and the Diploma of Associateship of Manchester, the latter with distinction leading to a postgraduate scholarship in sculpture.
Key had a passion for art since childhood. He embarked on becoming a professional artist, imbued with basic aims of being true to himself, avoiding artistic influence and fashion, and maintaining honesty and integrity. The artists early paintings include an important period of development during which he concentrated on painting and drawing a specific area of the Derbyshire landscape, the Whiteley Nab hill, south of Glossop.
Key's paintings are heavily influenced by the school of European Modernism, and he is best known for his bold use of colour, fine draughtsmanship and strong imagination which have resulted in some striking, surreal compositions. His colour palette has gradually evolved over time, from muted tones, to the vibrant use of colour he is now so well known for.
He quickly developed a keen sense of observation and focus. Since the beginning he has worked in series, on thematic lines, with each exploring the questions raised in the execution of the individual works.
Geoffrey Key’s successful career as an artist spans over five decades. He has built upon his early academic studies to achieve an important national and international presence and reputation for his unique and diligent expression of form, light and colour. Key’s bold, dynamic figures and dreamlike compositions are highly appealing, and as Key is regarded as one of the most influential of British living artists the market for his work remains buoyant.
He has represented the UK in invited exhibitions in Europe and continues to be widely exhibited and collected; in recent times one-man shows have taken place across the UK, Europe, Asia, Australia and the USA. His academic awards include the Heywood Medal in Fine Art, the Guthrie Bond Travelling Scholarship.
In praise of his work, American Club News, (Hong Kong) wrote:“First impressions of Geoffrey Key’s work reveal confidence, dedication, purpose and sincerity. More exciting than Braque and placing Picasso in time perspective, he conveys a classical quality with no question of imitation. His images are uncompromisingly commanding and he has a penetrating vision, which allows him to strip away the facades and expose the true meaning of his subject”.His work features in private, public and corporate collections worldwide including Salford and Manchester Art Galleries, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, Jockey Club of Hong Kong, Societé Roquefort, Chateau de St Ouen and Perrier.
The artists work is displayed in many collections in the UK including Salford and Manchester Art Galleries, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, North West Arts Board and the National Westminster Bank.
PublicationsInfinite Jest, 2015 Geoffrey Key - The Signature Book, 2011Geoffrey Key Paintings, 2008Clowns, 2001Geoffrey Key 20th Century Drawings, 2002Images, 2004