William Brooker 1918-1983
Brooker was born in Croydon, Surrey, and attended Croydon School of Art between 1936-39. His training was interrupted by army service during World War II, but his art studies resumed in 1947 and following completion of his studies in 1949 he became a lecturer in painting at several of the top English art schools and exhibited his own work widely.He began teaching BAA during which time he shared a house with Wynter and later Frost. His students included Howard Hodgkin: ‘He was the only real teacher I ever had. . . he made one feel that painting was a very important occupation. Quite unique. No one else seemed a bit like that. He was a great teacher.'
William Brooker enjoyed painting familiar objects from an unusual perspective and presented his audience with a seemingly transient image of an everyday scene or object, arriving at an unconventional view of the conventional. His early work was located within the broad framework of English anecdotal impressionism, continuing a tradition established by Vuillard and Bonnard, and translated to the English idiom by Sickert.
He used a light palette generally; cool greys and whites, enlivened with blue, became his favoured colours, and as his work developed they were used constantly. His interest in the juxtaposition of shape and form, and composition of tonal harmony, appear to surpass his interest in the subject matter and can be seen as a precursor of the abstracted, minimalist, still-life painting which he later developed, and which was to occupy him for many years.