Ray Atkins: The Reading Years

Exhibition catalogue for Ray Atkins: The Reading Years
Reading Museum, Reading Foundation for Art

Ray Atkins has been painting outside, often on a monumental scale, since the 1960s, and exhibiting nationally, undistracted by calls that painting was dead in the 1970s or that conceptual art was the only way forward. Today his painting is inspiring a new generation of young painters.

He lived in Reading from 1968 to 1974 while the town was changing radically. The Inner Distribution Road swept through the town centre, medieval streets made way for civic buildings and a shopping centre an on the outskirts the M4 was built. Ray observed them all.

‘Ray Atkins uses the outside world as a studio. The landscapes emerge from day to day involvement with an ever changing subject which is finally committed to a specific visual experience. I have admired these extraordinary paintings for many years.’ – Leon Kossoff, 2003