“We have collected Alan Halliday paintings since 1979. We have views of Venice, Cambridge and Chelsea, seascapes, a still life, an abstract and a fantasy piece, which now adorn our houses in Britain and Spain. Rare is the day that our eye does not rest on one of his works. We admire his eye for architecture, his ability to capture the exuberance of a moment, and above all his love of colour. We thank him for the enthusiasm that radiates from our walls. “
Michael and Carolyn Portillo, ex cabinet minister and television presenter.
"I am building a collection of paintings by a British artist called Alan Halliday. He is well established but hasn't yet reached the point where you can't afford him"
Alexi Gauthier, Michelin-starred chef and proprietor of restaurant, ‘Gauthier Soho’, The Sunday Times, July 2012.
“In 1979 I saw Alan Halliday’s first exhibition at the Windsor and Eton Fine Art Gallery and I was greatly impressed by his vivacious draughtsmanship. His sure progress and increasing dimensions were proved at the Bruton Street Gallery in 1992.”
David Hicks, interior and garden designer.
Alan Halliday (b.1952) is an internationally established British artist. (See, The Dictionary of British Artists since 1945).
Art critic John Russell Taylor writing in The Times said, “Halliday paints what obsesses him. His style is boldly calligraphic. Even his large-scale oil paintings depend largely on the definition of effective line while his smaller works in ink, gouache and pastel are built on a structure of amazingly fluid, spontaneous strokes of the pen; but they are in fact more than that. While the line may define the form, it is the colour which gives it form and life.”
Halliday has been a successful professional artist for 40 years, holding more than 100 exhibitions in the USA, Europe, India and the Middle East. His paintings are in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum; the Theatre Museum, The Museum of London as well as Oxford University colleges and the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, USA. His paintings are also acquired by private collectors worldwide.
Trained at the Courtauld Institute of Art (1970-74), in 1982 Halliday was awarded a doctorate in the history of art by Oxford University. His first mentor was John Piper, the distinguished British neo-romantic painter. Piper encouraged the young artist to build up an extensive archive of sketchbooks to draw on for future use and summed up Halliday’s style as “an arrangement of painted marks, all on the surface and yet all in depth”.
Halliday now lives in France by the Loire. His output and subject matter is extensive; landscape, interiors, still life, figurative and abstract. He works principally in oil on canvas and gouache on paper but also works daily drawing in pen and ink and chalk. In 2011 he was made Un Invité des Amis de Marcel Proust.
Arguably the best interpreter of theatre performances since W. R. Sickert, Halliday has produced a formidable body of work involving the Bolshoi, the Mariinsky, the Royal Ballet, Bejart, Stuttgart Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, New York Ballet City Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, the Caracalla Dance Theatre in Beirut and English National Ballet; and theatre companies such as the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford-upon-Avon, the National Theatre, the Peter Hall, and Shakespeare’s Globe.
Leading actors, directors and producers have applauded and encouraged him
“Halliday’s paintings have a freedom and lightness about them and get to the essence of the subject.”
Sir Alan Bates, actor.
“His work has a verve and immediacy, brilliantly capturing the magic that is the very essence of the performing arts. Dancers, actors, singers are caught in the act with Alan’s dashing brush and pen”.
Derek Granger, film producer of Brideshead Revisited.
“Theatre is almost impossible to record, but Halliday’s paintings are alarmingly successful. They have the accuracy of observation, selectivity of memory and the intensity of imagination. They are what it was like.”
Philip Franks, RSC actor and National Theatre director.
For the Oscar-winning film, 'Shakespeare in Love', Halliday was on-set artist during the making of the film at Shepperton Studios. The BBC commissioned him to paint their television adaptations of classic novels such as 'Tom Jones', 'Love in a Cold Climate', 'Great Expectations' and 'David Copperfield'. In 1994 he was commissioned by the BBC to draw all the concerts that season at the Royal Albert Hall to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts.
Outside the theatre, Halliday has been commissioned to paint scenes of disaster such as the 1990s war in Beirut; the IRA City bomb explosion in London; the burning of St. George’s Hall at Windsor Castle, and the devastation at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, following the Great Storm of 1987.
Halliday is an outstanding draftsman and colourist who works by eye alone and has no need of a camera. One of the leading artists of his generation, his deep understanding of the art of the past combines with his own natural ability and fluent, painterly touch, enabling him to produce paintings of great beauty and power.