"I was a loner as a kid, an only child, the kind that grow up to be terrorists, bank robbers or artists. I wasn't interested in terror but tried robbery, stole a watch in the third grade but got caught and took up art. They haven't caught me at that yet." (Warren Criswell)
Warren Criswell was born in West Palm Beach, Florida, in 1936 during hurricane season and has lived in Arkansas since his bus broke down here in 1978. Primarily a self-taught painter, Criswell is also a printmaker, sculptor and animator. He has had 41 solo exhibitions in the United States and one in Taiwan. His work has been included in 76 group exhibitions in New York, Atlanta, Washington DC, Arkansas, Virginia, North Carolina, Germany and Taiwan, and is represented in the permanent collections of many institutions, including: The Arkansas Arts Center; the McKissick Museum of the University of South Carolina; The Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, GA; Historic Arkansas Museum, Little Rock, AR; the University of Arkansas at Little Rock; Capital Arts Center, Taipei, China; the University of Central Arkansas; Hendrix College; the Center for Arts & Science of SE Arkansas; Arkansas State University; and the Central Arkansas Library System, as well as in private and corporate collections in the United States, Europe and Asia. In 1996 he was awarded a fellowship grant for
painting and works on paper by the Mid-America Arts Alliance and the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 2003 an Individual Artist Fellowship Grant for painting and drawing by the Arkansas Arts Council.
In my paintings and sculptures I use the materials and styles of the Old Masters to express images and ideas of the present, or timeless archetypes and myths set in our present day environments. But I have no formula or rules except to express the truth as I see it. Each of my paintings, sculptures or prints is a discovery for me, and each surprises me with its own formula and rules. I never know what's coming next, I only hope it's something. I approach each new work with fear and trembling, pretending it's my first and hoping it's not my last.