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Artists CV    artwork
Paula MacArthur

Paula MacArthur


Paula MacArthur’s recent series of large scale canvases focuses on jewels. Enlarged a thousand times these tiny stones transform into celestial entities. These paintings are a personal celebration of love and over time have come to encompass universal desires and obsessions. 

Working with viscous paint beside pools of barely tinted turps and using exaggerated intense colour the artist pushes the medium towards the extremes of its capabilities. Working quickly and instinctively MacArthur places colour onto the canvas working with wet on wet glazes, merging oily translucent layers with the brush and dropping colour, allowing it to bleed and grow into the surface. From a distance brush marks and the trails of running paint are invisible, the paintings appear cohesive, even photographic, then as the viewer approaches the images disintegrate. The paint becomes as ephemeral as the jewel’s sparkle, the focus moves from the gemstone to the physicality of the paint and echoes the elusive ideals these minute treasures symbolise.

Current and forthcoming exhibitions

Infinitely Precious Things, solo exhibition
VJB Arts at 60 Threadneedle Street, London, EC2R 8HP 
24 January - 2 May 2014

20 Painters, A survey of painting in Kent, Sussex and Surrey
Phoenix Brighton 10-14 Waterloo Place, Brighton, BN2 9NB
Exhibition continues 8 February - 30 March, Wednesday - Saturday 11am-5pm

The Print Garden
Rye Art Gallery, High Street, Rye, East Sussex
February 22 - April 6 2014


1993 Royal Academy Schools, Post-Graduate Diploma, Fine Art Painting 
1990 Loughborough College of Art and Design, BA Hons, Fine Art Painting


London Festival Fringe Art Award, second place 
Prize winner, John Moores 18, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
Royal Academy Schools Prize for painting 
First Prize Winner, John Player Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery

Selected Collections

National Portrait Gallery, London 
Baron and Baroness von Oppenheim 
Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors 
Loughborough Grammar School 
Ted Baker London
Double Tree Hilton Hotel, Park Lane, London
Solo Exhibitions

2010 Amusement, Brighton Media Centre, East Sussex 
2009 Showtime, The Coningsby Gallery, 30 Tottenham St, London, W1 
2009 Seaside Special, solo exhibition, The Arts Forum, St Leonards, East Sussex

Selected Group Exhibitions

2014 Shift Dance Company, a dance performance inspired by the jewel paintings
The Sinden Theatre Tenterden & The Congress Theatre Eastbourne
2014 Crash Open Salon, Charlie Dutton Gallery, 1a Princeton Street, London
2013 Christmas BOGOF, WW Gallery, 34/35 Hatton Garden, London, EC1N 8DX
2013 Lion and Lamb Gallery at Sluice Art Fair, Bermondsey, London
2013 The Open West, Cheltenham Art Gallery
2013 The Femail Project, The Article Gallery, Birmingham City University
2013 Navigate, Bexhill Art Trail supported by the De La Warr Pavillion, The Old Cinema, Bexhill
2013 The Open West, Newark Park Gloucestershire
2013 Covert and Obscured, Frances Bardsley Gallery, Romford
2013 Tasty Modern, Schwartz Gallery, London
2012 Seeing in the Dark, The Fletcher Centre, Rye, East Sussex
2012 Minutiae, The Stone Space, London
2012 ALAS Autumn Residency Exhibition, Matt Roberts Arts, Vyner Street, London
2012 Pushing Print, The Pie Factory, Margate
2012 The Perfect Nude, Wimbledon Space, Exeter Phoenix Gallery & Charlie Smith London
2012 Summer Games, Nolias Gallery, 60 Great Suffolk Street, London SE1 0BL 
2012 3x3, Cultivate, Vyner Street, London
2011 What the Folk Say, 26 March - December 2011, Compton Verney, Warwickshire 
2010 Remasters, The Rag Factory, 16 Heneage Street, Off Brick Lane, London E1 
2010 A Thousand Words; an installation for Art in Romney Marsh, St. Nicholas’  Church 
2010 London Festival Fringe Art Award, The Gallery, 3 Bedfordbury, Covent Garden
2005 Ahoy Kunst Event, Rotterdam, Netherlands 
1994 Four Self Portrait Artists, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool 
1993 Prize winner, John Moores 18, Walker Art gallery, Liverpool 
1993 Royal Academy Post-Graduates, Grassimuseum, Leipzig, Germany 
1993 Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, London
1992 Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, London
1991 Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, London 
1989 Young Contemporaries, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester 
1989 First Prize Winner, John Player Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery


The Open West 2013 exhibition catalogue
Pushing Print Festival 2012 exhibition catalogue
What the Folk Say exhibition catalogue, Compton Verney
The Importance of Sequences, Clinical Chemist, Marek H Dominiczak
Self; Portraits from around the world, compiled by Craig Kerrecoe
John Moores Liverpool Exhibition 18, National Merseyside Galleries and Museums
Royal Academy Schools student exhibition, introduction by Norman Rosenthal
Painting Today, Bonhams, foreward by Nicholas Usherwood
Ten years of the John Player Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery