Marcus Harvey
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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.




Harvey was born in Leeds in 1963. He currently lives and works in London.




1986 Graduated Goldsmith’s College, London





2016 Insellaffe, Jerwood Gallery, Hastings

2013 Marcus Harvey, Vigo Gallery, London

2012 Marcus Harvey, Galerie Alex Daniels, Amsterdam

2010 Tattoo, Fine Art Society, London

2010 Door Paintings, Galleria Marabini, Milan

2010 Marcus Harvey, Galleria Marabini, Bologna

2009 White Riot,White Cube, London

2008 Paintings, Galleria Marabini, Milan, Italy

2007 Albion, Galleria Marabini, Bologna

2005 The Führer's Cakes, Galleria Marabini, Bologna

2005 Marcus Harvey, Mimmo Scognamiglio, Naples

2002 Marcus Harvey, Mary Boone Gallery, New York

2002 Marcus Harvey, Vedovi Fine Art, Brussels

1996 Marcus Harvey, Vedovi Fine Art, Brussels ;

1995 Marcus Harvey, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

1994 Snaps, White Cube, London (1994);

1993 Marcus Harvey, Cohen Gallery, New York .




2012 BRITISH, Vigo Gallery, London, UK

2011 Two and a half Dimensions, Pangolin Gallery, London, UK

2010 Peeping Tom, Vegas Gallery, London

2010 Without from Within, Djanogly Gallery, Nottingham, UK

2010 Crucible, Gloucester Cathedral sculpture show, Gloucester, UK

2009 College, Fred Gallery, London

2009 TURPS BANANA 1, Galleria Marabini, Milan

2009 TURPS BANANA 2, Galleria Marabini, Bologna

2008 You Dig The Tunnel, I’ll Hide The Soil, White Cube, Hoxton Square and Shoreditch Town Hall, London.

2008 Summer Exhibition 2008, (invited exhibitor), Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK

2007 Summer Exhibition 2007, Royal Academy, London

2007 The Dream of Putrefacation, Fieldgate Gallery, London

2007 The Dream of Putrefacation, The Metropole Galleries, Folkstone

2007 Decadence, Decay and the Demimonde, Home House, London, UK

2006 The Portrait, V22 ASHWINSTREET, London

2006 In the darkest hour there may be light: Works from Damien Hirst’s murderme collection, Serpentine Gallery, London

2006 Summer Exhibition 2006, (invited exhibitor) Royal Academy London, UK

2005 London Calling, Y(oung) B(ritish) A(rtists) Criss-Crossed, Galleri Kaare Berntsen, Oslo

2002 Closer, Standpoint Gallery, London

2001 Happy the World so Made, The Nunnery, London;

2000 A Thick Bloke Kicking a Dog to Death, The International 3 Summer Fête, Fairfield, Manchester

2000 Sex and the British, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg; Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris

2000 Out There, White Cube2, Hoxton, London

1999 Now It's My Turn to Scream. Works by Contemporary British Artists from the   Logan Collection, Haines Gallery, San Francisco, California.

1997 Sensation, Royal Academy of Arts, London ; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin,   1998-1999; Brooklyn Museum, New York 1999-2000

1996 About Vision: New British Painting in the 1990’s, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford

1995 Young British Artists III, Saatchi Gallery, London

1994 Some Went Mad, Some Ran Away, Serpentine Gallery, London

1991 Harry Zellweger Gallery, Basel



Harvey is the co-founder of the 'Turps Banana', a magazine devoted to painting and written by painters (



Selected Collections:

The Seavest Collection

Berado Museum, Portugal

Murder Me, Damien Hirst Collection, UK

MoMA, New York, USA

MoMA, Denver, Colorado, USA

Stedalijk Museum, Amsterdam

Saatchi Collection, London, UK

David Roberts Foundation, London, UK

V22 Collection, London, UK

Burger Collection, Hong Kong

Goss Michael Foundation, Dallas, USA

British Council Collection, London, UK

Logan Collection, San Francisco, USA



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