THE ART OF SPIRITUAL LOGIC
a persons animating principle or intelligence.
a persons soul.
the development of symbols which make it possible to abstract from particular premisses and conclusions and consider only the patterns.
a chain of reasoning.
Although the artist did not take up painting until 1976 he is entirely self taught and was drawn in his eary twenties towards the works of Dali, Magritte, Escher and Vasarely with a particular interest in puzzles and geometrics. Having decided early in his career to find a method of working that was entirely different from current trends and to fill a gap as an outsider he decided to work in a graphic style and that every work would be finished by hand. Not being mainstream the artist was always concerned that he kept to his own language regardless of acceptance by the establishment. He calls his own movement Spiritual Logic - using art as a communication about the world around us and the world within us and its infinite possibilities.
It is best left to Michael Robinson an art biographer who researched and interviewed the artist to best describe his place in modern art..............
Although Anthony John Gray is without formal training, like many artists he began his career by studying and copying the old masters. An early exhibition in 1975 revealed his ability to imbue the realsim of Courbet, for example, with his own sense of the surreal - an indicator of the path he had chosen as a painter, his subsequent early works are reminiscent of the heyday of British Surrealism, with visual qualities that set them apart from their French counterparts. It is to simplistic however, to call Gray a surrealist. Although his work is clearly informed by, for example, Roland Penrose, and even the continental surrealists such as Magritte and Delvaux, it is less sinister, motivated as theirs was by European politics of the 1930's. Like the previous generations of surrealists, Grays paintings are based on a methodology of collage and montage, and still have the ability to disturb and pacify at one and the same time, through strange juxtapositions. There the similarities end. There are subtle differences that set Grays work apart from his antecedent, including the empowered women who populate his world. A forceful reminder of how male artists of his generation have transcended the notion of woman merely as a muse. In Britain during the 1930's there were seemingly endless battles between the surrealists and the abstractionists about the superiority of their respective art forms that saw such artists as Henry Moore and Paul Nash acting as arbiters. Gray is not an arbiter, but an artist whose work is a fusion of surrealism and geometric abstraction. As enigmatic as his surrealism is, his images are imbued with a sense of order and rationale. In this post modernism age, Gray is aware that the sensibilities are continually bombarded with visual images, many of which are nihilistic and pessimistic. Gray however is an optimist, his images imbued with a luxurious sense of colour that eschews negativity - an art he calls Spiritual Logic. It is in effect a very positive surrealsim for the 21st century.
Anthony John Gray went from working as a policeman in the early 70's to one of his first exhibitions - of stylised, Surrealist, soft porn images - being banned by Brighton's local authority. His recent work, which he calls Spiritual Logic, remains provocative abeit in very different ways.
Set against a topical backdrop, with the Western world encumbered by a cycle of indulgence, guilt and cynicism, Anthony's paintings are a reminder of how fantastic living in the future is. In his work man is once more dwarfed and excited by possibility, ideological agendas possess beauty and validation, and glamour is an intelligent and worthwhile pursuit rather than simply a display of status. Sex, graphics, splendor and psychedelia combine in a ' raygun ' gothic space opera that unlike most modern art, looks beautiful on a wall. Right now, our generation needs Anthony John Gray.
Anthony John Gray never had any formal training when he changed his career path from a British police officer to becoming an artist. I find his work quite fascinating because of its fusion of the surreal with abstract geometry. Apart from giving it a certain Gothic expression, this blend also makes his painting appear aloof and emotionally detatched. But the psychedelic coolness of his work, the spacey indifference, does not suggest a certain nonchalance or a lack of approachability, instead most of his paintings seem to convey a level of self control, indifference bordering on serenity and unruffle calmness. Gray's college like juxtapositions, which often seem to endow women with power and enigma, fuse structure, lightness and the search for the ultimate freedom into form that emanates a place beyond subconscious production. In this context, the artists own description of his work as ' Spiritual Logic ' seems to make perfect sense - and so does Gray's poetry to his works 'The Magnificent Obsession' and 'Liberated Desires'. What makes Gray's work so special is that its aesthetics is an expression of a quest - the search for meaning as spiritual essence. Gray said about his series 'Liberated Desires' - ' it first came in 1979 and it is one of those images that will not go away, you keep trying to perfect it. Seated above yourself, ruler over all things and yet possessing total freedom over choice, absolute freedom in youir own head, thats Liberated Desires. Thirty pieces so far, maybe when I find that complete freedom I will stop'.
MR SMILEY MEETS SEXY REXY. Oils on canvas. 50" x 35".
EYECON No 2. SOLD
This website is 1 of 3 sites covering the work of Anthony John Gray. This site deals with his UK based studio and current works.
covers his prints and editions.
covers his New York work and general USA history, early work, art expo exhibitions and general works handled in the US