Richard Allen was born in Worcester. Allen’s interests began at an early age when attending theAgricultural College which shared a building with Worcester School of Art. In 1957 Allen began his artistic career at the Bath Academy of Art and embraced its unconventional teaching. Producing mostly abstract works, by his last year Allen received a commission for a mosaic for a college in Wiltshire. In 1961, Richard Allen married his fellow Bath Academy of Art student Eve Laurens. Allen became a part time teacher at the Croydon College of Art while continuing with his own artistic projects.
By 1964, Allen was exhibiting with the likes of Bridget Riley, Michael Kidner and Geoffrey Steele. Allen’s first solo exhibition, however, was not until 1967 at the University of Sussex. Allen’s artistic career continued to flourish with exhibitions at the Whitechapel Gallery, the Hayward Gallery and the Institute of Contemporary Arts. By 1977, Allen had moved to Jersey in the Channel Islands
and his work was mainly being shown in Belgium, Italy, Japan and the USA. After almost two decades of working without colour, in 1991 Richard Allen moved back to England and started what would become his last work, the series “white paintings”. Richard Allen was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and died in February 1999.