About the artist


Marcus Harvey makes highly worked figurative paintings and sculptures. He seeks out imagery that is emblematic of a brutish but proud Britishness. Often his imagery is problematic or controversial, his most infamous work perhaps being ‘Myra’ which was exhibited as part of the groundbreaking exhibition Sensation in 1997. Unprecedented national and international media attention ensued as the painting had been created with repeated child’s handprints in the image of the infamous child-murderer Myra Hindley.  This chilling painting derived much of its potency from the iconography of photographic image so engrained in the British Psyche through years of obsessive media reproduction. The painting, ‘Albus’, one of his most important paintings to date uses the white cliffs of Dover as a metaphor for Britain’s place in a changing, uncertain world. The paint sits proud of an underlying photographic sea.  Britain’s cliffs look strong, pugnant and full of history, proud in adversity. Bad weather seems imminent, a storm is brewing and the water on which the painting sits is changing. Shifts of global power and economic woes threaten this mighty fortress. It is not clear where the future lies but still the island stands strong. The while endless and not controllable is not pristine. The tide may turn.

 

Recently, Harvey has started to work extensively with ceramics forging motifs and emblems of Britishness into collaged portraits of historical British figures of foes from history, from Nelson to Margaret Thatcher and from Napoleon to Tony Blair. He works the imagery, handling the clay in a battle to find its form despite multiple firings and emerging knowledge on behalf of the artist with regards to glazing and firing technique. The result is tough but humorous sculpture, unapologetic and brash, political yet ambiguous, considered and painterly.

 

selected works

Albus
2009
Untitled (Big Galleon)
2016
Fuhrer's cake
2009
Tragic Historical Head
2015
Tattoo'd
2013
The English Cemetery
2016
Contra Jour
2016
Ceramic Head / Sea Scape
2013
Maggie
2011
Margaret Thatcher
Big Girl
2015

past exhibitions

27 January – 18 February 2017

Marcus Harvey

Gimme Shelter

Vigo Gallery
16 July – 16 October 2016

Marcus Harvey

Inselaffe

15 May – 7 June 2013

Marcus Harvey

Tattoo

Vigo Gallery
8 October – 9 November 2012

Ululation

Vigo Gallery
29 June – 23 September 2012

London Twelve

City Gallery of Prague
17 April – 11 May 2012

British

An exploration of Britain's cultural identity

Vigo Gallery

Albus

2009Oil on panel221 x 366 cm / 87 x 144 1/8 in
Oil On Panel 221 x 366 cm 87 1/8 x 144 1/8 inches

Untitled (Big Galleon)

2016Oil and acrylic on inkjet on plywood304.8  x 243.84 cm / 120 x 96 in

Fuhrer's cake

2009Acrylic on inkjet mounted on canvas244 x 198 cm / 96 1/8 x 78 in

Tragic Historical Head

2015Cast jesmonite106.7 x 66 x 68.6 cm / 42 x 26 x 27 in

Tattoo'd

2013Oil on Inkjet mounted on Canvas266.7 x 203.2 cm / 105 x 80 in

The English Cemetery

2016Jesmonite, oil, acrylic, ink jet on plywood243.84  x 304.8 cm / 96 x 120 in

Contra Jour

2016Acrylic, jesmonite, ink jet and canvas on MDF182.9 x 121.9 cm cm / 72 x 48 in

Ceramic Head / Sea Scape

2013Ceramic and Inkjet photgraph mounted on Canvas

Maggie

2011Ceramic130 x 50 x 50 cm / 51 1/8 x 19 5/8 x 19 5/8 in

Margaret Thatcher

Big Girl

2015Bronze