BIOGRAPHY by
Ray Waterhouse
Modern Fine Art, New York
formerly WATERHOUSE & DODD

Edward Povey was born in 1951 in London, England, and grew up as an only child, painting obsessively and writing prose and music. He studied drawing at Eastbourne College of Art and Design, and then psychology and painting at The University of Wales. While in his twenties, he made his name as a mural painter, and was filmed by the BBC while he created 25 massive murals. He later came to regard this period as his apprenticeship.

In 1982 he moved his studio to the Caribbean Island of Grenada for seven years. This adventurous decision was taken to allow him to concentrate on painting on canvas and to give himself a fresh vision away from the fame and distractions derived from his murals. During this time his work began to be acquired by collectors in the United States. He studied color and composition with established artists such as the Danish architectural abstractionist Paul Klose, the American colorist Malcolm T. Liepke, and the Belgian art dealer Jan de Maere. By 1991, he was showing in John Whitney Payson’s New York gallery beside 20th Century American masters, and over the next three decades his work was on exhibition in galleries spanning seven countries.

In 1991 The University of Wales commissioned Povey to create a major painting for a chamber concert hall in Wales, measuring 20 x 40 feet, for which he designed a work with intensely direct narrative, comprising seven panels framed by trompe-l’oeil stonework. The mural is called the Hall of Illusion, and is considered one of the ten most important university owned artworks, as stated by the London Times.

By the year 2000, Povey’s work was acquired by prominent institutions including The National Museum of Wales; MOMA Wales; the National Library of Wales; the Glynn Vivien Art Museum; the Anglesey Museum Art Collection and numerous corporate art collections, and in 2018 The British Library documented his career for the British nation.

Povey is preoccupied with the human experience in general, and his own personal experiences steeped in adventure. As a child he was unusually sensitive and empathic, prone to fainting. He has had three marriages through two wars, in Israel and in the Caribbean. There is a clear development in his art, from observations on society in his 1970s’ murals, through family psychology and symbolism in his works of the 1990s, and culminating with insights into individual human vulnerability and mortality in his current paintings.

His paintings were most recently exhibited in 2023 at the European Museum of Modern Art, Barcelona, described by the museum as a curated selection of the most outstanding artists in contemporary representational art. He lives and works in Devon, England, and still devotes up to a hundred hours a week to his work.
 
 

FULL BIOGRAPHY
2023 - Povey's current artworks are exhibited in a solo exhibition October 5 through November 10 at Waterhouse & Dodd, New York. The paintiings are his exploration of Emotional Realism, his term for this style of painting, an intimate look at what it is to be human, with all it's pain and beauty.

2023 - BLACKLIST - Inclusion of Povey paintings in an upcoming episode of the American crime thriller television series that premiered on NBC on September 23, 2013. The paintings hang in a collector’s home used for the episode.

2023 - MIMESIS Exhibition, European Museum of Modern Art, Barcelona, Spain,. Two Povey paintings are showcased in the exhibition. According to the museum "It will feature a careful selection of the most outstanding artists in contemporary representational art. The aim of the exhibition is to present an overview of the current trend through the great masters of representational art and its most outstanding artists."

2023 - Povey artworks are shown alongside Modern Masters such as Chagall, Leger, Matisse, Miro, Monet, Picasso and Renoir, and Post-War artists such as Lichtenstein, Riopelle, Warhol and Wesselmann at The Palm Beach Show, West Palm Beach.

2023 - Povey artworks are shown alongside Modern Masters such as Chagall, Leger, Matisse, Miro, Monet, Picasso and Renoir, and Post-War artists such as Lichtenstein, Riopelle, Warhol and Wesselmann at The San Francisco Fall Show.

2023 - Waterhouse & Dodd’s Summer Group Show includes Povey artworks.

2022 - Povey artworks are shown alongside Modern Masters such as Chagall, Leger, Matisse, Miro, Monet, Picasso and Renoir, and Post-War artists such as Lichtenstein, Riopelle, Warhol and Wesselmann at The Palm Beach Show, West Palm Beach.

2022 - A DIORAMA OF SOMNAMBULISTIC MORTALITY - The works of Edward Povey, blog article. by Professor Roman Konik, Head of the Department of Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art at the Institute of Philosophy, University of Wroclaw in Poland.

2022 - Povey artworks are shown alongside Roberto Matta, Lynn Chadwick, Saint Clair Cemin, and Annina Roescheisen  alongside other Modernist and Contemporary artists. at Art Fair Miami.

2021 - Povey accepts representation with Waterhouse & Dodd, New York.

2021 - LIVING DIORAMA - Interview by Carmen Lozano, renowned art blogger who has also written about artists Ángeles Santos, Ruxandra Niculae, Marta en Marte, Juan Silva, and Raymon Paynet.

2021 EDWARD POVEY IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW with Abi Joy Samuels on Instagram #@paintguide. Povey speaks about his training, motivation, his angry father, studio on a tropical island, his murals in Wales, anatomy training with medical school cadavers, and his passion for his work. He also speaks about his plans for the coming year.

2021 - ART IS LINE blog, interviewed by Italian Art Critic Simone Fappanni, who has also written about the Futurists, the Surrealists, Picasso, Mirò, Dalì, and Moore.

2021 - BACKGROUND AND PROCESS, - Article. Discourse and exploration by the psychoanalyst and art historian, Jean-François Ferbos.

2021 PROVK MAGAZINE, Miami, USA. MNEMONIC CREATURES - In-depth interview. Other interviews include Damien Hirst, Banksy, Gerhard Richter, Basquiat, and Cindy Sherman. 
2021 Edward Povey - Emotional Realism. Documentary Short Film by Italian film maker PETER PAHOR.
2021 INCOMPLETE Edward Povey Cinematic Portrait by Italian film maker PETER PAHOR.
2021 C MAG, Alberta University of the Arts MORTAL PAINTER - Interview by arts writer Kristie Feener.  
2021 WHY NOW - Edward Povey interviewed by Editor-in-chief Harvey Solomon-Brady for Why Now, the positive media platform launched by Gabriel Jagger, son of Rolling Stone Mick Jagger.
2021 - Povey artworks appear at the Los Angeles Art Show in July/August with Arcadia Contemporary, Pasadena, California
2021 - Povey artworks appear at the Los Angeles Art Fair in February with Arcadia Contemporary, Pasadena, California
2021 REVISTA LITERÁRIA PIXÉ - Brazil. Magazine feature. The December 2021 issue is to feature 40 images of Povey’s paintings. The Revista Literária Pixé publishes poems, short stories and chronicles by Brazilian authors from the most diverse origins. In each edition, a different visual artist is invited to illustrate all the pages, joining text to the proposed visualities. 
2020 Artnet News - article discussing Edward Povey showing in a group exhibition titled ISOLATION MASTERED at the JD Malat Gallery, Mayfair, London. Exhibition juried by: Simon de Pury- Art Dealer & Auctioneer Dylan Jones- Editor of GQ Robert Montgomery- Artist  David Bellingham- Art historian, author and Programme Director of the MA in Art Business, Sotheby’s Institute of Art London Katrin Fridriks- Artist Gavin Rossdale- Musician and Art Collector Jean-David Malat- Founder, JD Malat Gallery  Victoria Aboucaya- Director, JD Malat Gallery  and special guest, Gavin Turk- Artist  2020 Magazine feature: Revue Magistrature, Paris, France  2020 Magazine feature: Nostromo Magazine, Valencia, ES
2019 - Povey begins to show with Arcadia Contemporary, Pasadena, California. Povey’s now elderly mother had begun to fail, and so he and his wife, artist Tolar Schultz, returned to the UK to rejoin her. There he continued to pursue this new profoundly authentic line of paintings, deep in the countryside only 290 miles from the site of Edward Povey’s distant childhood in London
2016 - 2018 - the Povey and Schultz duo made two collections of paintings each year, but they were both simultaneously reawakening the evolution of their own individual art, which had been paused in 2012. Refreshed by his creative sojourn with Schultz and inspired by new research in the National Gallery of Art in London, Povey alighted upon the idea of combining Cubist mixed perspectives with Early Renaissance methods of painting flesh. Through his demanding emotional life experiences, he still carried the undiminished vision of congruent cherishing in human relationships, encapsulated in the motif of a man longingly serenading a sleeping woman through the night, lost in reverie. This subject, employing Modernist strength and Raphael’s tenderness, could answer his long-sought wish of creating a better way of showing complicated and vulnerable emotions. A New Orleans art dealer offered Povey and Schultz an artists’ residency at her river home in late 2018, and the peaceful isolation provided Povey with the perfect environment in which to shake the wrinkles out of his breakthrough.
2016 - I.E.E.E. - the largest organization of engineers in the world, published their charter for ethics in artificial intelligence, using Povey and Schultz paintings as illustrations. They also advise the White House and the United Nations on the subject.
2016 – Photographed by Philip Rogers.
2013-15 - Povey begins to collaborate with the artist Tolar Schultz on building a new concept combining abstraction and liminal figuration, documented by Italian Museum Curator Giuseppe Bachi; and the Former Head of Public Policy of BBC Wales and Deputy Chair of Artes Mundi, Huw Roberts
2013-14 - Garmon Press (UK) publishes the first five volumes of the Public Catalogue Foundation series Oil Paintings in Public Ownership. Povey works appear in four of the five initial volumes, more are expected in subsequent volumes. BBC interviews with Huw Roberts - former head of BBC Wales, and Paul Islwyn Thomas - former head of Arts and Culture BBC Wales- in which he discusses his new exploration, employing larger canvases and complex methods of harvesting imagery, abandoning his previous approaches to painting and advancing into a more challenging and also more direct, visceral style. He combines realistic forms with pure abstract forms in the same paintings, giving rise to a seamless ‘visual language’: one that opens the door to new and eloquent possibilities in style and meaning, and which is considerably more impactful on live viewers of his paintings. Continues to work in his isolated studio in the USA. Shows at Art Palm Beach - West Palm Beach, Atlanta, New Orleans
2011-12 - MOMA Wales authors Edward Povey book: Discusses his career, in which Povey created more than 3500 artworks with subsequent placement into 600 public, corporate and private collections in 16 countries. The BBC and the Public Catalogue Foundation (UK) Partnership published most of Povey’s publicly owned works in their Your Paintings Project which has put the UK’s entire national collection of over 210,000 oil paintings online. Continues to decline representation by commercial galleries during a period of reevaluation of his painting
2008-10 - BBC Television, ITV Television, S4C Television and regional newspapers celebrate Povey’s contribution to art in Britain. Enters a period of transition in the visual language employed in his paintings. During this evolution he withdraws from gallery representation, seeking a seclusion which will serve his research. He privately explores through his Emotional Expression Period of paintings. Moves to build an isolated studio in the USA
2006-07 - Proposed for a knighthood for his services to the world of art. Knighthood Proposal supported by Ken Owen - playwright; the Chancellor of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; the Artistic Director of the Welsh National Theater; the Head of BBC Wales; the Head of Arts and Culture for BBC Wales; Lady Anglesey. Studios: Wales, Florida. Shows in Wales, West Palm Beach; Virginia Beach Contemporary Art Museum
2005 - The Times Newspaper, London: Povey’s Hall of Illusion mural oil painting is named one of the ten most important university-owned artworks in Britain. Studies form in London art museums, continuing his Pain Beauty and Memory Period paintings. Studios: California, Florida and Wales. Shows in New Orleans, West Palm Beach, Wales
2002-04 - Deepens his approach to design and develops his Creative Working Methods Period. By July 2003 he enters his Pain Beauty and Memory Period of paintings. Studios: Grenada, West Indies; California; Florida; Wales. Shows in Wales, France, Barcelona, San Francisco, New Orleans, and West Palm Beach
2000-01 - In Style Magazine: May 2001: WillWonders Never Cease, article showing Eric McCormack (actor of Will and Grace sitcom) with an Edward Povey painting in his collection. The Lord Chamberlain invites Edward Povey to Buckingham Palace to meet with Her Majesty the Queen of England and The Prince of Wales. Studios: Wales, Spain. Shows in Wales, France, San Francisco, New Orleans
1997-99 - Invited to join the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art. Museums in Britain and the USA begin acquiring Povey works. The National Library Museum of Wales acquire three Povey works for the nation. BBC Radio create a Diary Program following Povey on his research for his paintings and sculptures: France, London, Wales. Begins sculpting, public and private, as an extension to his forms in paint, furthering his Psychology and Philosophy Period of paintings Studios: Wales. Shows in Singapore, New Orleans, New York, London
1994-96 - Deepens his studies in the relationship between art and the psyche. Researches new ways to evolve concepts with models using theaters and elaborate staging and costumes. The BBC follows his evolution, in both his professional and personal lives. He continues through the Childhood, Illusion and Desire Period of paintings, and begins the Psychology and Philosophy Period of paintings. Studios: Wales - courtesy of the University of Wales; Florida, West Indies. Shows in London, New York, San Francisco, New Orleans, Beverley Hills, Scottsdale, Miami, Hong Kong, Brussels, Wales, France
1992-93 - Public commission: Hall of Illusion mural: 20 X 40 ft. interior oil painting in the Chamber Concert Hall of the University of Wales. The commission is followed by BBC Television, S4C Television; BBC Radio Four and regional and national newspapers. Studios: Guisborough, England; Bangor City, Wales. Designs the Hall of Illusion mural on the island of Grenada, West Indies
1987-91 - Studies psychology and narrative in art whilst he builds the extensive Childhood, Illusion and Desire Period of paintings. Studio: Guisborough, England courtesy of the town mayor. Shows in Belgium, London, New York
1982-86 - The New York Times send photographer Dith Pran (on whom the movie The Killing Fields was based) to photograph Povey in New York with The Trial of Saint Deiniol painting at Art Expo New York 1986. Povey is advised by George Bush Senior’s former campaign manager Zena Temkin on shaping his public persona. The BBC film Edward Povey with former President of the Royal Academy of Art in London - Sir Hugh Casson KCVO, RA, RDI in which Sir Hugh interviews Povey about his art career. Public and private commissions for collections in the United States, London, Wales, Belgium, West Indies. Studies symbolism and trains in color with Jan de Maere in Brussels and works through the Tapestry Period of paintings Studio: Grenada, West Indies
1981-82 - Commission: The Trial of Saint Deiniol: 19-panel, 18 x 21 ft. painting. Studio: Shropshire, England
1974-81 - University of Wales: studied painting under Welsh artist Selwyn Jones. Public and private commissions: twenty-five multistory murals in Wales and England: documented by the BBC and British National Newspapers. Studios: Bethesda and Bangor City, Wales. Studies composition and portraiture. Shows at the Royal Exchange, London; Bangor City Museum, Wales
1972-73 - Eastbourne College for Art and Design: Fine Art Foundation Course: studies drawing. Works through the South Coast Period of paintings. Studio: South Coast of England