Bryan Charnley: the art of schizophrenia
The paintings of Bryan Charnley (1949-1991) used visual metaphor and symbolism to vividly illustrate the physical experience of schizophrenia, an illness Charnley lived with from adolescence until his premature death in 1991.
Bringing together works from the Bethlem collection and many rarely seen works from the Estate of Bryan Charnley, this exhibition looks back at Charnley’s life and work – from his early photo-realist inspired portraits and cityscapes to the direct expression and communication of his later allegorical paintings, many inspired by other works in the Bethlem collection. ‘Here I saw art stripped of all esoteric and conceptual pretensions’, he wrote, ‘I gladly adopted this approach which seemed to be more vital than any current “-ism”’
The first major retrospective of this British artist, Bryan Charnley will also be the inaugural exhibition in Bethlem Museum of the Mind.