Born Yoker on the Clyde.
William Crozier studied at Glasgow School of Art from 1949-53 before working for two years as a theatre designer. He has taught at Bath Academy of Art and the Central School of Art, London, and was Head of Fine Art at Winchester until 1987. From the 1950s to around 1980 he worked within an abstract idiom loosely based on landscape motifs, but during the 1980s he has moved towards more easily recognisable depictions of landscape. Between 1955 and 1965, he spent prolonged periods in Dublin, Paris and Malaga. Now divides his time between studios in Winchester and Ireland. He had a major exhibition at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in 1995.
From the 1980s, when he set up studios in Ireland and the UK, Crozier's painting of the landscape has blossomed with an extraordinary radiance and can be seen to have taken inspiration from eastern European as much as western art. His still-lifes, which are invariably taken from a subject near to hand in the home, use brilliant colour to engineer the emotional intensity of the paintings. Says Crozier 'The still life can be seen in the same category as chamber music, the jazz quartet, the short poem or the songs of Mahler or Gershwin.'
Crozier remains concerned with developing the language of figurative painting. In a recent interview he said 'I have found that I can only paint that to which I have grown accustomed: objects or landscapes which excite or delight after long familiarity.' Nowhere is this more evident than in his highly sought-after vibrant and tautly composed landscapes of West Cork, where he spends long periods of time. The paintings capture the essence and look of the landscape in ways that the visitor will immediately recognise. Crozier believes that when painting the Irish landscape he must 'Tell the truth. Say it simply.'