Lives and works in Gloucestershire, UK
Lily Musker (b.1981) is a figurative painter based in Gloucestershire, UK. Musker’s work ranges from portraits, landscapes, fairy tales to hedonistic scenes of raves, all with references to the old masters.
Musker’s first solo show was held in December 2022 at the Tabernacle in West London, which was followed by another solo show in February 2022 at the Lansdowne Gallery in Stroud, Gloucestershire. At the latter, she did a live portrait sitting for one week. She has also participated in several group exhibitions such as ‘There is Hope’ held at the Liverpool Biennale in 2005, a group show in Amsterdam in 2005, and ‘Regret and Embarrassment’ held in Camberwell, London in 2012.
For over a decade, Musker has been working on a series of portraits under the ‘Purifire series.’ These depict the sitter holding fire, symbolizing the burning away of bad spirits, which she believes the paintings as objects do the same. Using a range of media including drawing, painting, and printmaking, her main focus is on oil painting, with many of the colors being made by herself from pigment. Having a profound understanding of painting tradition, she recreates exact layouts of colors in her palettes as used by painters in the 18th and 19th centuries. Some of these palettes contain up to 52 colors on one palette, which she likens to musical scales. Alongside her painting, Musker is currently teaching herself lithography and etching, hoping to incorporate her daily act of drawing into books and prints.
Attending art school in Cheltenham, Musker received a BA Hons in 2006. She was lucky enough to receive a scholarship to attend the British School in Rome in 2005, which she feels greatly influenced her practice. With her profound understanding of painting tradition and the ability to recreate the exact palettes of old masters, Musker’s work often looks back to historical paintings, making transcriptions through looking at the composition and subject matter.
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