Charles Burton b.1929
Charles Burton was born in Treherbert in 1929, and grew up in the Rhondda Fawr between the wars. By his early twenties his work was being bought by public institutions and important private collectors, and in 1954 aged only 25, Charles won the Gold Medal for Fine Art at the National Eisteddfod. At Cardiff College of Art in the late 1940s he was at the heart of the Rhondda Group, alongside his friends Ernie Zobole and Glyn Morgan. After post-graduate studies at the Royal College of Art, he became a teacher. He was Head of Painting at Liverpool College of Art and then, from 1970 to his retirement, Head of Art and Design at the Polytechnic of Wales.
He has always been a very private painter. Like many of the artists we value most, he paints not for an audience, but for himself. He has embraced many subjects: landscapes, still lives, interiors and figures; but his works are unified in a painterly balance of pictorial space and in the love that they express. They need a kind of reverie to be absorbed. So quietly perfect are they that they may be lost to those who hurry for an instant impact, but look long and hard and they will never lose their value.
National Museum of Wales, Cardiff; Newport Museum & Art Gallery; Arts Council of Wales; Contemporary Art Society for Wales; Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea; Brecknock Museum & Art Gallery, Brecon; House of Lords; BBC Wales, Cardiff; Department of the Environment; Various Universities and Local Authorities; Private collections worldwide.
Signed copies of the superb, lavishly illustrated book 'Charles Burton, Painting Still' written by Peter Wakelin are available from the gallery.