Anthony Whishaw RA RWA at 90: A Force of Nature

Anthony Whishaw RA RWA at 90: A Force of Nature

Postponed until further notice


Postponed until further notice


A free retrospective exhibition of work by RA and RWA Academician Anthony Whishaw in his 90th year.


“...Creation is not a reproduction of observed fact…the aim of art is the fusion of ideas and experiences with the qualities of the art medium so the artist creates a new reality. The medium becomes the work of art. The work of art is a world in itself at the same time as of the world.”

Anthony Whishaw RA is an English artist and member of the Royal Academy. He claims no association with any particular art movement, stating instead that ‘each painting and work on paper makes its own separate demands’.

Anthony Whishaw studied at Chelsea School of Art from 1948 to 1952 (awarded NDD) and the Royal College of Art, London from 1952 to 1955, when he was awarded the ARCA (first class hons), the RCA Travelling Scholarship, an Abbey Minor Scholarship and a Spanish Government Scholarship.

His work deals with explorations of memory and experience. On the edge of representation, varying in intent, scale and depiction, it seeks to reconcile illusion and allusion, the abstract and the figurative, past and present pictorial languages to create unforeseen visual experiences.

His first solo show was held at the Libreria Abril, Madrid in 1956. Subsequently, he had regular exhibitions at Roland, Browse and Delbanco, London, throughout the 1960s and went on to have numerous solo shows throughout the UK at venues including the ICA, London (1971), the Oxford Gallery, Oxford (1978), Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (1982), Royal Academy of Arts (1987) and the Barbican Centre (1994), amongst others. He also exhibited in many key group exhibitions from 1952, and has participated regularly in the Whitechapel Open, the Hayward Annual, and the John Moores Painting Prize.

He has many awards to his name, including the RCA Drawing Prize (1954), Perth International Drawing Biennale Prize (1973), South East Arts Association Painting Prize (1975), Arts Council of Great Britain Award (1978), Greater London Council Painting Prize (1981), Abbey Premier Scholarship (1982), John Moores Minor Painting Prize (1982), Lorne Scholarship (1982-3), Joint winner Hunting Group National Art Competition (1986), and Korn Ferry Carre Oban International Picture of the Year in 1996.

He was elected a Member of The London Group in 1979, an Associate Royal Academician in 1980, a Royal Academician in 1989 and a Member of the Royal West of England Academy in 1992. Between 1958 and 1992, he taught on an occasional basis at Chelsea School of Art, and St Martins School of Art.

His early works used oil-based paint but having discovered the exciting possibilities of acrylic in the early 1970s, he never looked back. 

He lives and works in London.



Image credit: Reece Straw


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