Marcus Harvey was born in Moortown, Leeds in 1963 and lives and works in London. He graduated from Goldsmith’s College in the late 1980’s along with the other members of the group now known as Young British Artists (YBAs). Marcus became well known after his infamous and controversial painting ‘Myra’ was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1997 as part of the exhibition Sensation.

Marcus Harvey joined with fellow painter Peter Ashton Jones to form Turps Banana Magazine in 2005. Turps focuses on new writing about both art historical and contemporary painting, written entirely by contemporary practicing painters. This beautifully produced magazine is published twice a year, with a commitment to no advertising. The cover design is in yellow, with the word “TURPS” and the iconic banana of Andy Warhol. In 2012, Turps Art School was founded to allow emerging and mid career painters to spend a year painting intensively with other practicing painters. It has been heralded as an alternative model for arts education. Jonathan Jones for The Guardian in 2014 said “The renegade art school proving that painting is not dead.”

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Marcus’s current work combines painting, photography, and sculpture while exploring British iconography in pop culture, the landscape, and cultural history. These recent works include thick gestural figurative paintings made on top of and obscuring photographic prints of landscapes and figures. His new ceramics and bronzes are an amalgam of art historical and historical references making “collaged portraits” from Nelson to Margaret Thatcher and from Napoleon to Tony Blair. The work has been received as a more mature kind of politics in work that continues to explore the possibilities of gesture in medium specificity with his “urgent physicality.”

Marcus has participated in several important group exhibitions such as ‘Some Went Mad, Some Ran Away’, Serpentine Gallery, London (1994) and ‘Sensation’, Royal Academy, London (1997). Harvey’s solo exhibitions include White Cube, London (1994), Tanya Bonakdar, New York (1995), Mary Boone, Gallery, New York (2002), Galleria Marabini, Bologna (2005), ‘Inselaffe’ – Jerwood Gallery (2016).

His works are held in numerous international collections including the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; The British Council Collection, London; Berado Museum in lisbon,  and prominent private collections including the “Murder Me” collection of artist Damien Hirst, UK; the Saatchi Collection, UK; the Logan Collection, San Francisco; the Burger Collection, Hong Kong; and the Seavest Collection.

Works by Marcus Harvey