b.1936, Dublin, Ireland
1958 Slade School of Art, London
d. 2003, London. UK
Provocative, flamboyant and eccentric, Patrick Procktor was central to the 1960s London art scene. Alongside friends such as David Hockney, Cecil Beaton, RB Kitaj, Ossie Clark and Princess Margaret, Procktor was one of the starts this era.
With a passion for Latin and Greek, Procktor aimed to study Classics. But without the finances to study, he instead started his working life as a builderís merchant before being conscripted into the Royal Navy. In the navy he learned to speak Russian and later worked as a Russian translator. It was while working as a translator that Procktor began to draw and paint, eventually being accepted into the Slade School of Art in 1958. In 1963 his first solo exhibition at the Redfern Gallery on Londonís Cork Street was a sell-out hit and cemented his prominence in the art and cultural landscape at this time. In 1964 Procktor exhibited in New Generation at the Whitechapel Gallery alongside Bridget Riley, David Hockney and Patrick Caulfield.
In 1968 Procktor met Gervase Griffiths, a young Oxford Graduate and aspiring singer. Gervase would become his obsession and muse. The artistís infatuation was communicated in paintings, drawings and photographs. In 1968 Procktor held his debut exhibition in New York and exhibited paintings featuring solely Griffiths. After 1970 Procktor began to live with his friend and neighbour, Kirsten Benson. They married and had a child in 1973.
In subsequent years Procktor designed for the theatre and created album cover artwork for Elton John and the Rolling Stones. His travels through Morocco, India and Venice gave inspiration to his work in the 1970s and in 1980 the artist visited China. On his return he held a critically successful exhibition of his watercolours, oils, etchings and drawings in ink at the Redfern Gallery. In 1984 he was commissioned to a reredos for
the St John the Baptist chapel in Chichester
Cathedral. He painted celebrated cultural figures such as Mick
Jagger, Jimi Hendrix, Terence Stamp and Joe Orton.
It was in 1984 that Procktorís wife died of a heart attack; a tragedy that the artist never recovered from. The 1990s saw a retrospective of Procktorís work and he was included in the Royal Academy in 1996. In 1999 tragedy was to beset the artist once more when his home and its contents were destroyed in a fire. Without insurance or a home and developing alcoholism, Procktorís life went into decline.
A blood clot caused the artists death in 2003. In 2004 his life was celebrated in a memorial service held at St Jamesís Church, Piccadilly and attended by a congregation comprised of luminaries from the world of art and fashion.
Collectors Contemporary is proud to show the work of this highly skilled, unique and relevant artist. As the author Ian Massey encapsulates in Patrick Procktor Art and Life, ďProcktor was both very much of his time yet seemingly out of time; in many ways a fascinating anachronism. He was an instinctive painter, untrammeled by theory and theorising, but nonetheless immersed in art and its historyÖĒ