Photo by Rose de Castellane

Photo by Rose de Castellane

William Foyle (born 1993) lives and works in London


2019 Landscapes, Asia House, Marylebone, London

2017   Self-Portraits, Ross's, Belfast, Northern Ireland
2015   Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London
2012   Gallery 8, Duke Street St James’s, London

2016   Matter & Light Fine Art, Boston, USA
2015 A. Prin Opening Exhibition, London

2013    Duns Castle, Scotland
2012    Royal Academy, London, Marie Curie Cancer Private View of the Summer Exhibition
2012    Duns Castle, Scotland
2009    Partridge Fine Art, Bond Street, London
2009    Air Gallery, Dover Street, London


The Ruth Borchard Collection
In private collections in U.S.A, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Monaco, Ireland & UK.

William Foyle’s early life was immersed in music. However, it was in painting that he found expression for the world around him; music was merely the backdrop. His ability was recognised when he was awarded an art scholarship to Stowe and where he became the youngest pupil ever to receive the Drawing Prize. He later entered the Edinburgh College of Art.

The son of an English Hungarian father and an Irish mother he spent regular periods in Antrim and Donegal absorbing the landscape and the ever changing light. As a professional painter, Foyle has an intellectual approach to his work and travels extensively in Europe visiting museums and galleries and drawing on the experiences and people that he meets.

William Foyle has successfully shown in solo exhibitions at two London galleries, Gallery 8, Duke Street, St. James’s and The Royal College of Art, but perhaps the greatest endorsement of his work is a picture purchased in 2016 by the distinguished Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Collection. Foyle’s work is held in collections in USA, France, Monaco, Ireland, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Spain and the UK.


A new generation of young painters have emerged who have embraced the medium of painting, drawing and printmaking. Many of these young talents have revisited the use and power of figuration; so out of fashion in the last half of the 20th century. William Foyle is one of those painters.  

William honed his technical skills by objective study and observation.  His passion for music and literature have also had a huge influence on him and are in part the foundation blocks of his talent. Surrounding himself with the music of Bartok, Liszt, Janacek, Messiaen, Reich, Stravinsky, Shostakovich and Terry Riley together with his appreciation of the writings of Dostoevsky, Kafka, Jung, Tolstoy, van Gogh's letters and Turgenev open up a rich, complex and intriguing dialogue.  

The present body of work, paintings and monotypes use a subtle refined means of execution to explore their themes and motifs. In the paintings; tonality, with a hint of colour. In the monotypes; black and white is scraped through to expose the paper which reveals the image.   Ghostly figures emerge with an economy of line.  A gesture here, a gesture there, reveal the figure like some distant memory.  Ghostly, almost skeletal figures haunt ones imagination yet fascinate one’s sensibilities.

In the paintings, the figures emerge and recede into the surface of the canvas, their presence almost felt than seen. They emerge from the canvas as though through the mists of time, revealed by layers and washes of paint. The luminescent forms hover and float within the boundaries of the canvas, both materialising and dematerialising their sense of being. The known and unknown in a dialogue and a struggle to come to existence. The themes and motifs  are sometimes upsetting and disturbing yet, compelling and beautiful at the same time.  This is the work of a young talent whose vision and work  are expanding rapidly and exhibits a maturity beyond his age.


To have the ambition to be an artist of consequence requires dedication. Like great musicians, great sportsmen or indeed mystics - all life becomes secondary to one’s calling. Mentally, physically, spiritually, such people enter a world of their own. For a painter this world must be as much intellectual, as technical, for an able artist however capable, must also engage in intense thought, always enquiring and experimenting. If hand, eye and mind work in unison there is every chance that the resultant works of art will be worth looking at.

I have known William Foyle since he was very young - in fact, not so long ago. Never have I met any artist of his age - and he is certainly an artist - so utterly dedicated to his profession. Indeed to me it has been a real privilege to observe his endeavours. William has looked deeply at several painters of consequence to him, late Goya, Bacon, Freud and Kossoff yet his works are far from derivative. He turns his whole mind and attention onto his subjects and agonises to reproduce faithfully these observations. In this exhibition the portraits are remarkably penetrating while the interiors; with their delicate orchestration of light are remarkable. Foyle is fascinating and his future wants watching.


"There is quality and meaningfulness in these varied works by the young artist William Foyle who shows considerable talent and promise. Portrait heads executed in vigorous and vibrant impasto reveal an assurance with the materials and methods of painting that he is rapidly developing."