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Peter McArdle
Born 17 December 1965 (1965-12-17)
Nationality English
Field Painting
Training University of Sunderland, Jeffrey Johnson atelier
Movement Stuckism
Works On a Theme of Annunciation

Peter McArdle (born 17 December 1965) is an English artist, member of the Stuckists art group and gallery owner.[1]


Life and career

Peter McArdle was born in Tynemouth. He finished St. Aidan's RC School, Tyneside, in 1983, at which point he began to get sales for his paintings, which have supported him since.[1] He gained a National Diploma in Art and Design at Newcastle College of Art and Design, 1983-85, then attended the University of Sunderland, from which he graduated in 1992 with Honours in Fine Art,[2] though commenting he got "my arse well and truly kicked for being a figurative painter."[1] He did atelier study with painter and poet Jeffrey Johnson in London the following year, then had a series of solo shows at the Llewellyn Alexander Gallery; most of his shows were sold out.[1] From 1992, he showed at Mark Jason Fine Art in Bond Street, London.[1]

Artist and Model (Richter Revised) by Peter McArdle

In 1989, he was on the shortlist for the Winsor & Newton Young Artist Award. In 1997, during the Year of Visual Art, he was commissioned for work by the Tyne & Wear Development Corporation. He also received commissions from Arts Resource, Sunderland, and the City Council.[2] From 1990, he participated also in group shows, including the Discerning Eye show at the Mall Galleries, London.[2]

Peter McArdle's work (centre painting) in the A Gallery window, July 2007.

In 2003 he founded The Gateshead Stuckists group as "a response to the Baltic's nihilism",[1] and was exhibited at the Stuckism International Gallery.[2] He was a featured artist in The Stuckists Punk Victorian show at the Walker Art Gallery for the 2004 Liverpool Biennial,[3] and was one of the ten "leading Stuckists" in Go West at Spectrum London gallery in 2006.[4] In 2007, he was shown in I Won't Have Sex with You as Long as We're Married at the A Gallery.[5]

In 2007, he became Head of the Foundation course at Northumberland College, and the Fine Art lecturer on the BA course there.[6]

He runs the Brockdam Gallery near Gateshead.[7] He lives in the countryside in Northumberland in a Georgian farmhouse with his wife and two sons.[8]


A Small Crowd Gathered by Peter McArdle

He is a dedicated worker, and has painted seven days a week and starting as early as 4 a.m.[8] He paints in oil with traditional glazing techniques, taking six months or more per painting, sometimes working with a 000 ("cat's whisker") sable brush. A burnt umber underpainting can have up to seventeen layers of glazing. He rejects a third of the finished paintings.[1]

Images are mostly one or several figures in an empty room, often seemingly unaware of each other's presence, and given titles that are equally enigmatic. He has said that the images "hover on the frontier between the familiar and the enigmatic, addressing a range of contemporary issues. They are an endless and imperceptible moving to and fro between dream and reality",[2] and also that they draw on his personal experience, as well as art history and mass media popular culture, acknowledging the difficulty of his work, which requires time and engagement from the viewer.[2] He described On a Theme of Annunciation:

On a Theme of Annunciation by Peter McArdle
It’s probably a lot to do with being brought up as a Roman Catholic, and a transitional moment in my life. Every Saturday night I went to confession. One day my father asked the priest to tell him his own sins. The priest clammed up and my father walked out of confession.. After that we left the church. Years later I went to Venice for a few weeks and I was confronted by all this religious imagery which brought back all the guilt. I was inspired by a Titian painting with a sexual element and also wanted to paint a contemporary annunciation. These things fused. It gets a bit more complex after that. The gun is symbolic of penetration yet also of protection. I expect the viewer to work hard. You need a certain understanding of history.[1]

He was reviewed by Paul Clark in the Evening Standard as "a top draughtsman with a funky fluid style" and in Art Review as someone who "augurs well for the future of British painting".[9]

Notes and references

Strange Love by Peter McArdle
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Milner, Frank (Editor). The Stuckists Punk Victorian, p.96, National Museums Liverpool, 2004. ISBN 1-902700-27-9. The biography on is based on that in the book.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Buckman, David. Dictionary of Artists in Britain since 1945: Volume 2, p. 997, Art Dictionaries, Bristol, 2006. ISBN 095326095-X
  3. ^ "The Stuckists Punk Victorian", Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool. Retrieved 19 March 2008.
  4. ^ "Go West", The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 March 2008.
  5. ^ "I Won't Have Sex with You as long as We're Married", Retrieved 19 March 2008.
  6. ^ "Biography", Retrieved 19 March 2008.
  7. ^ Whetstone, David. "Images and texts give meaning to the journey", The Journal, p.22, 29 September 2005. Retrieved from newsuk, 19 March 2008.
  8. ^ a b "Peter McArdle", Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool. Retrieved 19 March 2008.
  9. ^ Evening Standard, 10 January 2001 and Art Review (undated), cited by Charles Thomson in "Daubs and Daubers" on Retrieved 19 March 2008.

External links




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