About Us

This gallery shows paintings and drawings created by Neville Moray


I began to paint late in life, after a career of 40 years as a scientist during which I taught and carried out research in psychology and engineering in 10 universities in Europe, North America, and Asia.  But for many years I have been a passionate lover of modern and contemporary art, especially the Op Art and Pop Art of the 1960s and 1970s.  Among earlier modern Masters I regard Matisse as supreme.

 

When I came to painting, I could not adopt the programme of Op Art following  Riley and Vasarely, because my scientific work makes me too aware of how brain mechanisms operate in perception, and that knowledge would have biased and constrained my painting.  Instead, like many of the “gens du nord” who have come to the south, I was overwhelmed by colour and light.  My pictures interpret the environment of the Cote d’Azur in the Pop Art tradition, strongly influenced by the work of the British artist  Patrick Caulfield and the American Tom Wesselmann.  Caulfield emphasises the use of black contours to represent objects on strong fields of colours.  Wesselmann is a spectacular colourist, but also reminds us that there is room in painting for humour and wit, especially in his series “The Great American Nude” which influences my painting of the human figure.

 

My work is basically about line and colour.  Paintings are 2-dimensional objects, and should not try to be illusions of reality.  They stand for themselves, so I paint around the edges of the canvas and let them stand, unframed, as themselves.  On the surface of the canvas lines and contours separate space into well-defined individual areas, and each area is a vehicle, a container, of colour.  The subject of the pictures are colour and line, not the objects portrayed.  I do not try to provide a window into an illusion of reality, although I sometimes use perspective to pull the viewer into the colour space.  I try to combine an objective attitude derived from my scientific background with the emotional experience of the colours of the Mediterranean world in which I live. In that respect I follow Matisse, the master colourist, in trying to show not what is in front of me but the emotions and attitudes conjured up by the colour.

 

In the end, to live and paint on the Cote d’Azur must be to worship colour.

 

Neville Moray.                                                Magagnosc.  September 2010

 
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