British Outsider Art

Albert Louden

b. 1943

Albert Louden was born during the Second World War in the seaside resort of Blackpool, where his family had been evacuated from the East End of London. At the end of the war they returned to their home, but not long afterwards Louden’s parents separated, the young Albert remaining with his mother. He left school at fifteen with no qualifications and worked in a series of driving-related jobs. At the age of nineteen he felt compelled to make art, and for the next twenty years he worked part time, allowing himself the means to get by and purchase art materials, and the time to paint for pleasure. During the early 1970s Louden became involved in Marxist politics, but he gave up activism when it began to distract him from his art. In 1985, he exhibited his work at London’s Serpentine Gallery and sold every piece in the show. His early works were drawings and watercolours, but he later went on to use pastels and oil paints. Louden’s art is primarily figurative, though not in a traditional sense. Figures merge, apparently abstract in the corner of a room, or looming large in streets and against tower blocks. Louden’s works reveal him to be an extraordinary colourist with a fiercely individual style. Spurned by some for his commercial success, he is a fine example of a living artist who, whilst a regular visitor to museums and galleries, remains true to his own vision, following his singular creative path free from the influence of others.

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