William Ralph Turner, born in 1920, was the last of the great Northern Industrial painters.
He exhibited early, showing his work with impunity among the chief artists of Manchester. He first showed at the Manchester Academy in 1949 and continued to make contributions on many occasions thereafter.
During the second half of the 1950’s he exhibited at Gibbs Bookshop followed in 1958 with an exhibition at the Tabb Lane Gallery and a one-man showing at the Salford Art Gallery. The Salford exhibition announced the arrival of a fully-fledged Manchester painter, unafraid of bringing painterly spontaneity and lyrical energy to local subject matter.
One of his most individual qualities has been the ability to paint Manchester’s most drab industrial area with a palette and handling of pigment associated with the Parisian paintings of Vlaminck. Whilst retaining classic elements of la belle peinture Turner’s paintings never betray the atmosphere light and visual incidents of the northern industrial scene.
Turner’s work is more and more widely collected and is in the collections of Sir Peter Ustinov, Sebastian Coe, Eddie Shah, Freddy Pye and Stockport Art Gallery.