Working with oil paint, charcoal, conté, and watercolour, William Brickel (b.1994) is known for his sensitive explorations of the human figure. In the elegantly staged scenes he constructs, figures are situated in captivating poses, sharing moments of intimacy, longing, reflection and ennui. Brickel’s works occupy an ambiguous time period and their ‘flat realism’ – in colour and form – has been compared to key British interwar artists such as Austin Osman Spare, Winifred Knights and Edward Burra. Both meditative and psychologically charged, Brickel’s works evidence how portraiture can render the universality of human experience. From alienation and isolation to kinship and desire, his tender compositions explore how by investigating our histories – we can learn more about one another.
William Brickel lives and works in Gloucestershire, UK. In 2018, Brickel graduated with an MA from London’s Royal Drawing School. Prior to that, Brickel completed a BA in Photography at Camberwell College of Art, London. Residencies include Palazzo Monti Artist Residency, Brescia, Italy (2019); and Borgo Pingnano, Pisa, Italy (2018). Recent solo exhibitions include I’d Tell You If I Could, San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, California, USA (2021–22); I’d Tell You If I Could, Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles, California, USA (2021); and Countrymen, ltd, Los Angeles, California, USA (2020). Recent group exhibitions include Love is the Devil: Studies after Francis Bacon, Marlborough, London, UK (2022); and IRL (In Real Life), Timothy Taylor, London, UK (2021).
Brickel’s work resides in prominent institutional collections including Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, USA; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, California, USA; The Prince of Wales, Royal Collection Trust, London, UK; and X Museum, Beijing, China.