Fred Crayk was born in 1952. He was raised in Malta and northern Scotland and studied painting initially in Paris and then graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee in 1976. His studies continued at Edinburgh College of Art where he took a post-graduate degree in painting.

Since 1978 he has exhibited extensively in the United Kingdom and Europe and has lived and worked in the Netherlands, Hungary, France and Italy, having received prestigious awards from the British Council, the Royal Academy and the Scottish Arts Council.

Since the start of his career Crayk has adopted an international outlook both in his practice and where he lives and works. This has been a significant factor in his creative development but the influences which have inevitably flowed from exposure to different cultures have been passed through and remoulded by an internationalist Scottish perspective and outlook. Crayk believes that this gives him a distinct type of insight and understanding of cultural ideas and movements in general and of painting in particular. His knowledge of Scottish literature, philosophy and visual art is fundamental to his thinking and his vision.

His work is represented in private and public collections in the United Kingdom, Europe, Canada and Australia.

Fred Crayk currently lives and works in London.


“Among British painters in their 40s dedicated to the internal dynamics in their of their art, I’d reckon that Fred Crayk is hard to beat.(T)here is something about the work that makes one want to claim for it some kind of historical weight. The point is that Crayk has taken a certain weight of painting’s history and internalised it”(Julian Bell, Modern Painters 1997)

“Crayk’s art brings into play contradictory tensions on the same surface, by working simultaneously in abstract and figurative visual languages and by creating vaguely dramatic late Romantic atmospheres, which contrast with unexpectedly ironical image or phrase.”(Raffaele Gavarro, Ecco Roma, BSR Art Programme Publications)

“Crayk, much more than his contemporaries is also acutely aware………….of the instinctive links between paint and its associations with human flesh. Thus he is able to push the elusive appearances in his pictures to the point of abstraction but still leave them teetering on the brink of figuration through the insistent connectedness between the tactile texture of paint and the touch of human skin.”(Bill Hare, The Touch of Human Skin, catalogue essay for the exhibition ‘Flesh’ Pilgrim Gallery, London)