“As a painter I work through my own experience with my own incapacities to find an image of man perhaps common to us all today.“
Born in 1933, Charles Lutyens has been an artist all his life. He grew up in Berkshire during the war and discovered his enjoyment to paint when he was seven years old whilst at school in Shropshire and realised his commitment to being an artist during his time at Bryanston School in Dorset.
After his National Service in Malaya he trained at the Slade, St. Martin's and Central Schools of Art. Lutyens's work is diverse with an individual direction using materials including clay, wood, stone, mosaic, as well as drawn and painted images on paper, board and canvas. His images emerge out of his own experience of life, looking inwardly with a focus on Man's "Being in the World".
In 1958, after his studies, till 1978, Lutyens joined the Fabyc Community (family by choice), where he lived with his first wife and two sons. Later he studied Art Therapy at the Hertfordshire College of Art and Design and worked for years as an Art Therapist in a variety of hospitals in Oxford and High Wycombe. Between 1958 and 1964 Lutyens had a studio in Fulham from where a body of images then created were exhibited in 1962 at the Wildenstein Gallery in New York. Critics compared is work to Munch and Ensor.
From 1963 (when his first marriage broke) to 1968 Lutyens worked on a commission for a tesserae mosaic mural of "Angels of the Heavenly Host" at the newly consecrated church of St. Paul's, Bow Common, E3. The 800 sq.ft. took him five years to complete and contains 700 different colours, ordered from the Venetian island of Murano. It is the largest single-artist created mosaic mural in the British Isles.
Lutyens moved to Oxford with his second family in 1978 where together with other commitments, teaching and running related workshops, he continued to paint and sculpt in his studio and painted in the landscape. He has exhibited in his studio, in mixed exhibition in Bonn and Leiden and held one-man shows at St. Martin's Gallery, London and Hollerhaus Gallery near Munich. In 2009 Lutyens moved with his family to Hampshire.
In 2011 he held a retrospective exhibition of his work at St. Paul's Bow Common. With the "Angels of the Heavenly Host" in situ and his paintings and sculptures, he also exhibited a 15 ft high and 15 ft wide wooden, iron and steel Crucifixion of "Outraged Christ". This was later exhibited at Gloucester Cathedral and since then has taken residence at Liverpool Cathedral. This work also took him nearly five years to complete.
His work is in private collections in England, Germany, Austria, France, Ireland, Spain and USA.
Charles Lutyens died in April 2021
The 800 ft.sq. mosaic took Charles Lutyens five years to complete and contains 700 different colours ordered from the island of Murano.
Charles and his wife Marianna walking down to Tar Steps, Devon