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Biographies of Artists on Display

Storm Thorgerson (1944-2013) designed album cover art for over 40 years. He designed many of the most famous album covers in history, including Pink Floyd's instantly recognisable Dark Side of the Moon. Many of Thorgerson's classic album covers have become masterpieces in their own right. Thorgerson's designs are noticeable for their surreal elements. He often places objects out of their traditional context, setting them in vast spaces that give them an awkward appearance whilst highlighting their beauty.Born in Dartford, Kent in 1944, Thorgerson went to school with Roger Waters and Syd Barrett. He studied English and Philosophy at university before going on to complete an MA in Film and Television at the Royal College of Art. His career as an artist began accidentally; around the time of his graduation from the Royal College Pink Floyd were completing their second album A Saucerful of Secrets, when a friend turned down the job of creating its sleeve. With no background in art or graphic design Thorgerson volunteered to step into the fold. Along with his friend Aubrey Powell he set up the British graphic art group Hipgnosis in 1968, they specialised in creative photography for album covers. Many of Thorgerson's album covers were designed before the advent of advanced computer design software, and were created through the use of photography, paint and sculpture.

Martin Richardson gained the worlds first PhD in display holography from The Royal College of Art in 1988. In 1999 he was awarded the Millennium Fellowship by the UK Millennium Government Commission and in 2002 was awarded the prestigious Shearwater Foundation Award for Achievements in Holographic Art. He is currently Professor of Modern Holography at De Montfort University, Leicester, where he leads the Holographic Research Centre. In 2009 he achieved Associate Membership to the Royal Photographic Society and in 2009 was awarded the Saxby medal’ for his contributions to 3-D imaging. He is a visiting Professor at the Kun-Shan University in the Graduate School of Visual Communication Design, Taiwan and is the Senior External Examiner at Newcastle College, Leeds Metropolitan University and The London College of Communication.

Martin is regarded as an imaging pioneer. He has made holograms of many famous people, including film directors Martin Scorsese and Alan Parker as well as the fine artist Sir Peter Blake and writer Will Self to name but a few. His work with rock star David Bowie, for a project using 3-D promotional material for the album ‘hours’, is well known and all of which has been documented in his first published book‘Spacebomb: Holograms and Lenticular 1984 – 2004’. His second authored book, ‘The Prime Illusion: Modern Holography In The New Age Of Digital Media’ provides a theory that future design processes will need methods of three-dimensional print

 

Bruce McLean is one of the major figures of contemporary British Art. Born in 1944 he studied at Glasgow school of art and at St. Martin's in London, where he was taught by Anthony Caro. He found the attitude there ponderous: "Twelve adult men with pipes would walk for hours around sculpture and mumble." In reaction he turned to making sculpture out of rubbish, to performance art and to producing photographic works in which he often posed. All his work brilliantly sent up the pompousness of the art world and mocked established art forms. He was given an exhibition at the Tate Gallery at the age of 27. From the late 1970s he has made paintings and prints in which humour remains central. After St. Martin's McLean went on to teach at The Slade School of Fine Art. His early reputation arose from his activities as a sculptor involved in performance art. He has obtained international recognition for his paintings and prints, work with film theatre and books. Bruce's bold and confident approach to print making proved influential to his contemporaries and also to a generation of younger artists. Bruce's work is in private and public collections world-wide and he has had numerous one man shows in both Europe and North America. These include The Tate Gallery, the Modern Art Gallery in Vienna and The Museum of Modern Art Oxford.

Donald Hamilton Fraser sadly passed away in September 2009. He exhibited his highly acclaimed work in Paris New York Tokyo Zurich and many other cities around the world. The list of galleries that own or have exhibited his work is phenomenal. Donald participated in many of the most significant exhibitions of British work including the Royal Academy's 25 Years of British Painting, where he was also a Royal Academician and a trustee since 1995. Donald's predominant subject matter was landscape. Here he combined his Scottish decent and his affinity with French painting from his study there in the 1950's. This is greatly reflected in his style and execution. He layered thick bright paint with a palette knife to produce an almost collage effect. The landscapes remain close to their origins whilst forming abstract almost dream-like fields of colour. Contrasting in style and highlighting Donald's diversity are his wonderful chalk and wash drawings of dancers. Each one captures individual character and emotion whilst revealing his intimate knowledge of dance. After much study and travel including tutoring at the Royal College of Art, contact with the post war Ecole de Paris, and a long relationship with the Royal Academy Donald lived with his wife by the river at Henley on Thames.

 

Dan Baldwin (1972-) creates a unique and immediately recognisable vision in his silkscreen prints. His work is at once both abstract and figurative, reflecting both reality and the world of imagination. Baldwin's subject matter is the interior of his own mind, from rumination on love, memory or philosophical issues, to an airing of opinion on politics and/or current affairs. The work is multi-layered, both physically (Baldwin can use glazes, diamond dust,collage and 3D media on top of his silkscreen surface) and in terms of meaning. The motifs with which he plays often reccur- skeletons, swallows, crucifixes, childrens' story book illustrations, spiders, robins, trees, knives, flowers, cartoon figures- and are often contradictory, creating an uncomfortable  and sometimes sinister paradox. Each motif has a meaning (swallows generally signify innocence for example), although the meanings can vary slightly from print to print depending on the overall ethos of the piece. Symbolism is key to Baldwin's oeuvre- both his own interpretation and the personal response of each viewer.  These symbols of death, life and love reflect Baldwin's preoccupation with the 'big questions' of human existence. Born in Manchester, Baldwin studied at Eastbourne College of Art and Design and then Kent Institiute of Art and Design. He lives and works in West Sussex. Baldwin's work is collected and exhibited nationally and internationally.

 

Joe Webb (1976-) uses vintage magazines and printed ephemera that he has collected to create hand-made low fi collages, no computer trickery in sight. Webb re-invents the imagery taken from his collection of printed materials to create simple and elegant, yet surreal, images that explore love and longing. His work is inspired by the collage work of Peter Blake amongst others. To create original editions Webb has stayed true to the texture and feeling of collage by using real collaged elements in the silkscreens as well as embossing and glazing. 

Webb's work has become on online sensation with tens of thousands of people sharing his images on the internet. As well as going viral in the virtual world, ’Antares and Love II' has been displayed in the Saatchi Gallery, London.

Webb’s collages explore a range of ideas from the political to surreal, each piece carries a visual message to be deciphered by the viewer. The artist often displaces the central figure or object into an unusual setting, holding a mirror up to conflicting cultures and experiences. In other collages he removes  the central characters altogether, leaving an empty space which reveals alternative realties in the layers underneath.

Joe has now produced limited edition silkscreen prints made at Coriander Studio based on his original collages. These apply exciting multi media print finishes such as diamond dusting, silver leaf and embossing, which make each print individual and compliment the artists’ hand-made philosophy.

"I started making these simple hand-made collages as a sort of luddite reaction to working on computers for many years. I like the limitations of collage...using found imagery and a pair of scissors, there are no Photoshop options to resize, adjust colours or undo.

My collages work to a basic rule of sourcing just two or three images... I then present them as a reinvented single image to communicate a new message or idea.

I suppose I'm fairly anti-technology although I now promote my art on websites, own an iPhone and use Facebook...I wish I had been born 100 years ago".

 

Brad Faine (1945-) was born and grew up in Brighton.  He studied Fine Art (Painting) at Leicester College of Art where he achieved a Dip Ad (Hons) under the tutelage of Harry Thubron, an early proponent of conceptual art, and subsequently completed a Post Graduate ATC course at Goldsmiths.  During his time at Leicester, Faine developed the first truly playable 3d Chess set which was exhibited at the ‘Invention of Problems’ Exhibition at the ICA.  He also was responsible for the concept for ‘Inter-play’, one of the two British entries for the 1968 Paris Biennale.

On leaving college in 1972, Brad and his wife Jane founded Coriander Studio, which has grown into an internationally renowned maker and publisher of limited edition silkscreen and latterly digital prints, working with artists that range from Henri Chopin to Erte, Richard Hamilton to Peter Blake, Michael Craig-Martin to Damien Hirst.

In addition to being the managing director of Coriander Studio he has taught printmaking as a visiting lecturer at a number of art schools including St Martins College of Art and Design, Farnham School of Art, and at the Royal Academy of Art, where he had a one man show in the Coffee Bar Gallery. He has been involved in many collaborative demonstrations of printmaking, including a Granada Television film with Brendan Neiland and Patrick Hughes and a project with Bruce McLean at the Victoria and Albert Museum.  He has also been a guest speaker at a number of national and international printmaking symposia.

Throughout Coriander’s 40 year history, Faine has continued to work as a painter and printmaker in his own right. He has works in many private and public collections in the UK, the USA and the Middle East, and has had work included mixed shows in London, New York, Dubai and Tokyo.  Recent exhibitions include a one-man show at the Chelsea Arts club, a major joint print show with Peter Blake and Brendan Neiland at Leicester City Art Gallery, a one-man show at the London Sketch Club and another at 45 Park Lane – (the Cut), and a three month exhibition with Steve Thomas at Chelsea Future Space. His work has been seen in numerous mixed shows including the Pop Art exhibition at the Belgravia Gallery and the recent Mixed print show at the Railimgs Gallery. 

In 1984 he was responsible for initiating the concept of ‘Visual Aid for Band Aid’ and, along with Peter Blake, Graham Bannister and Gordon House, was integral in the organization of 104 artists and the production of an edition of 500 prints, the proceeds of which went to the Band Aid Trust.

In 1989 Faine was invited to write the New Guide to Screen Printing, which was published by Hodder Headline, and has subsequently written a number of articles for books on artists such as Terry Frost, Brendan Neiland and Peter Blake.

His prints have been published by Christies Contemporary Art, Anderson O’Day, Art for Offices in the UK, and Kane Fine Art and Greg Croston in the USA, and are held in the corporate collections of many international companies including BMW, Epson UK and British Rail. Recently his limited edition prints have been published exclusively by CCA Galleries Ltd.

 

Barry Reigate was born in 1971, London. He studied at Camberwell College of Arts (1990-93) and then Goldsmiths (1995-97). Has had solo shows in London at Nang Gallery (2009), Paradise Row (2008) and Trolley Gallery (2006). Group shows include ‘Rude Britannia: British Comic Art’ Tate Gallery 2010, ‘Newspeak: British Art Now’ Saatchi Gallery 2010.

Reigate uses debased sexual cartoon ephemera to provide a critical allegory for art historical attitudes as well as current cultural zeitgeist.

'The cartoons are mainly about death; the death of our exhausted visual culture. Cartoons are used because they've already been 'used' ied. 'used to death'. It plays with notions of freedom, in regards to an ideal of creativity. My work at the moment is dealing with structures and systems in regards to play and progress. '

Reigate merges the gloss of graphic design with integrity of expressionism, creating packed and jumbled compositions often with a lecherous/fetishist theme. His use of controversial subjects highlight the hypocrisy that surrounds issues such as sexuality, art, race and class. Darkly humorous parodies of today’s attitudes.

Reigate confronts and seduces the viewer with his own ethical hang-ups. “I like the simultaneous reference to cartoons and modern art over the last century,” says Reigate. “While modernism grew, cartoons consumed the very essence of transcendental popularity.”

“The dumbness is from too much knowledge,” Reigate perceives, “an apathy from too much info. Because of information and imagery, we all have loads of input about stuff we don’t ever experience, like zombiefied conduits of information. All this info goes into the paintings. Layer after layer of collage, drawing, crayon, airbrush etc… Just stuff on stuff, then sealed and more stuff put on top of other stuff. Making work is a kind of expenditure for this ‘stuff’. When I make a painting it may refer to moments in art’s history, but I did not do that consciously. It’s the energy of apathy kicking in. I’ve seen Guston’s books, read about Basquiat in journals, Googled Condo, seen Jeff Koons on TV, paid to see Paul McCarthy online, looked at Magritte’s ‘vache’ period in libraries etc; somehow this info is going to come out, through me. My body cannot store it, there’s not enough ram, so it gets performed, transferred onto a piece of material through brush, paint, collage and whatever’s to hand.”

“I got invited to do a special commission for the Saatchi Gallery which resulted in Real Special Very Painting and Voracious Impotent Penis (hence the titles, takes on R.S.V.P & V.I.P),” Reigate explains. “I’m interested in cartoon imagery because I was taught how to draw by my father. When visiting him at Wandsworth Prison, my father would try to entertain me through drawing popular imagery such as King Kong, or Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. That would be his way of communicating to me; being a kind of 70s macho man, he found it difficult to express his feelings other than through anger or violence. So there is this dysfunction already in my circuit, in relation to my artistic introduction, drawing associated with punishment and freedom. Cartoon’s main audience is children. Art, a luxury commodity, could be seen as some kind of adult toy. Something to depart from the ‘real’ world, into one of escape and play where meaning and reason slips into a different social context. In the real world you’re not allowed to be naughty, but in a cartoon world you can. You can throw knives, fall from buildings, and attempt murder.”

 

 

Sir Terry Frost RA (1915-2003) was a giant of British abstract Art. Born in Leamington Spa in 1915, Frost left school at the age of 14 and worked at Curry's Cycle shop and then Armstrong Whitworth in Coventry until the outbreak of war. He served in countries as diverse as Palestine and Greece, before being captured in 1941. Frost remained a prisoner until the end of the war, an experience that changed his outlook on life and introduced him to the possibilities of art. In prison camp in Bavaria Frost began to paint and draw, encouraged by young artist and fellow prisoner Adrian Heath.

'In prisoner-of-war camp I got tremendous spiritual experience, a more aware or heightened perception during starvation, and I honestly do not think that awakening has ever left me.'

On his return to Britain Frost moved to St. Ives in Cornwall, to be amongst the burgeoning artistic community there. Excluding brief stints in other locations, St. Ives and its local environs was where Frost lived and worked for the rest of his life. His work reflects the inspiration he found in the Cornish light, glittering seas and watery reflections. He attended the St. Ives School of Art before spending 1947-50 commuting to London in order to attend the Camberwell School of Art. His early work was figurative; it was influence of Victor Pasmore at Camberwell combined with that of Ben Nicholson that led Frost to paint his first abstract painting on 1949.

Frost worked as Barbara Hepworth's assistant in 1951 and had his first solo exhibition at the Leicester Galleries in 1952. Frost taught at many institutions including the Bath Academy of Art (1952-4), Leeds University (who awarded him he was the Gregory Fellowship in 1954) and Reading University. In 1960 Frost had his first solo show in New York at the Barbara Schaefer Gallery, whilst there he met some of the leading American Abstract Expressionists, this experience encouraged him to start painting on a much larger scale. He was awarded the John Moore's Prize in 1965, elected to the Royal Academy in 1992 and knighted in 1998. A retrospective of his work was held at the Royal Academy in 2000.

Frost's work reflects his gratitude and joie de vivre at having survived wartime incarceration; it is full of colour, light and the pleasure of existence 'a sense of delight in front of nature'. Frost took his inspiration from nature; the sun, moon, water, boats and the female form are recurring motifs abstracted into sensuous circles and curves. These shapes are often coloured in dramatic blues, reds, oranges, yellows and blacks. Frost believed that the interplay of colour and shape could realise an event or image more successfully than imitation. He combined strict formal discipline with great expressive freedom and a natural sureness of touch.

 

Godfather of British Pop Art Sir Peter Blake has been collaborating with CCA since 2003, producing spectacular original prints. His work crosses all generational divides, and inspires great respect from younger artists such as Damien Hirst, Gavin Turk, Pure Evil and Tracey Emin. Knighted in 2002, an honorary doctor of the Royal College of Art, and with his work represented in major collections throughout the world, Sir Peter Blake truly is a grandee of British Art.

Sir Peter Blake's work reflects his fascination with all streams of popular culture, and the beauty to be found in everyday objects and surroundings. Many of his works feature found printed materials such as photographs, comic strips or advertising texts, combined with bold geometric patterns and the use of primary colours. The works perfectly capture the effervescent and optimistic ethos of the sixties, but are also strikingly fresh and contemporary. There is also a strain of sentimentality and nostalgia running throughout his work, with particular focus towards childhood innocence and reminiscence, as can be seen clearly in his recent Alphabet series. Blake is renowned for his connection with the music industry, having produced iconic album covers for the Beatles, Paul Weller, The Who, and Oasis.

Sir Peter Blake was born in Dartford, Kent in 1932 and studied initially at Gravesend Technical College from 1949-51. After a period of national service in the Royal Air Force, Blake attended the Royal College of Art, graduating in 1956. Upon graduation he won the Leverhulme Research Award to study popular art, this allowed him to travel and study folk art in countries such as Belgium, France, Italy and Spain: his grand tour. It was around the period of his return to the UK that Blake's style evolved from the classical naturalistic oil works of his early period to the collaged works containing images of movie stars, musicians and pin-up girls that we most readily associate him with (however, Blake as always retained the naturalistic strain of his work and has continued to work in oil on canvas throughout his career).

During the 1960s and 70s Blake taught at various institutions such as St. Martins School of Art, Harrow School of Art, Walthamstow School of Art and the Royal College of Art. He also exhibited his work in many individual and group shows during this period, both domestically and internationally. In 1961 Blake won the John Moores Award for his work Self Portrait with Badges, and was also featured in Ken Russell's BBC film on Pop Art 'Pop Goes the Easel', which first brought him to wide popular attention. In 1969 Blake left London to live in the West country where he was a founding member of the Brotherhood of Ruralists in 1975. He continued to live near Bristol until 1979 and during this period his work moved away from the glossy commercial pop art for which he is most celebrated and focussed on literary and rural subjects in oil.

Blake moved back to Chiswick in 1979, upon his return to London his work reverted to the earlier popular culture references that had been his dominant inspiration before his rural period. He still resides and works in Chiswick, maintaining a prolific output of work. He was elected a member of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1981, and a CBE in 1983. There was a major retrospective of his work Now We Are 64, at the National Gallery in 1996, as well as at Tate Liverpool in 2007.  Sir Peter has designed fabrics for Stella McCartney, as well as the carpets in the new Supreme Court. In 2012 he has re-designed the BRIT award statuettes and produced a portrait of the the Queen commissioned by the Radio Times to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee (which appeared on its cover). He is currently working on a series of jacket designs for Penguin books, he has also been commissioned to paint a canvas of St. Martin for the Knights Chapel in St. Paul's Cathedral- the first new artist to be included for several hundred years

 

Barbara Rae CBE RA has taken inspiration from the vivid sun-drenched colours of Spain in her latest silkscreen prints. Rae's paintings combine the influence of landscape and travel with painterly abstraction. When Rae was awarded a travel scholarship in 1966, it unleashed a love of travel that remains with her. Although she does not like the term landscape painter, the importance of place is very apparent in her works; in particular the human traces and patterns of history that are left on a landscape. Spain is Rae's favourite destination, providing her with endless inspiration as we can see in her latest work. Rae's printmaking has been integral to her artistic activity since her student days. The way she conceives and works on her monoprints, screenprints and etchings complements and informs her approach to painting. The discipline imposed by these media and the unique opportunities offered by them create a set of possibilities, which stimulate her vision of the world, whether she is drawing, painting, making prints, or simply observing.

Barbara Rae studied at Edinburgh College of Art from 1961 to 1965.  She was awarded a travel scholarship, enabling her to work in France and Spain in 1966. She went on to have a teaching career in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow.

Solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally have been a regular feature of Rae’s upward trajectory. Her work features in many private collections in Britain, Europe and the USA, as well as in many public and corporate collections. Recognised nationally and internationally, Barbara Rae was elected president of the Society of Scottish Artists in 1983; made a Member of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1992; became a Royal Academician in 1996; a Member of the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland in 1995 and a Member of the Board of the British School at Rome in 1998. She was awarded a CBE and received an Honorary Doctorate from Napier University, Edinburgh in 1999. She lives and works in Edinburgh.

 

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