About

Stuart Pearson Wright is an artist living and working in Suffolk, England.

Born in 1975 in Northampton, Stuart drew with enthusiasm from an early age and after considering becoming an actor, finally opted for art school. He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London.

During his time at the Slade, Stuart won a travel award from the National Portrait Gallery as part of its 1998 BP Portrait Awards. He drove around Britain in a van, producing sketches and paintings as he went. The resulting exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery was called From Eastbourne to Edinburgh: A Painter's Odyssey. Godfrey Barker in the Evening standard labelled Stuart "A Hogarth for our Times" and Brian Sewell was to describe the paintings as "images of such eccentricity and even madness that they fit perfectly the English tradition of the odd man out: the Blake, Spencer, Cecil Collins line, and the largest of them should at once have been bought by the Tate".

In 2000 a chance encounter with the actor John Hurt in Old Compton Street led to a small portrait on oak, which was subsequently bought by the National Portrait Gallery along with a portrait of the Ballet dancer Adam Cooper.

Earlier that year Stuart's career had taken an unexpected turn when he won the first prize in the BP Portrait Awards for his painting Gallus Gallus with Still Life and Presidents.

Stuart made the headlines in 2004 with the release of a portrait of the Duke of Edinburgh. The painting featured a bare-chested Prince with a bluebottle on one shoulder. The portrait, which had been commissioned by the Royal Society of Arts, was refused by them. Later that year Stuart curated an exhibition at the Jerwood Space in London called Being Present featuring the work of eight painters.

Another commission which made the headlines was a portrait of the children's author J.K.Rowling. Commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery. This portrait took Stuart nearly a year to complete and saw his work moving in a new direction. The portrait was conceived in the manner of a regency toy theatre, with the figure painted onto a flat cut-out, mounted in a three-dimensional space.

Stuart's interest in the theatre, and the concept of artifice led to his next exhibition in 2006, called Most People are Other People: a collection of forty portrait drawings of British and Irish actors. The work was exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery and the National Theatre in London.

In 2007 Stuart had a solo exhibition at Galerie Huebner in Frankfurt called The Hole in the Bucket.

In 2009 Stuart co-ran a project space on Vyner Street called Five Hundred Dollars. He curated a group drawing exhibition called Kunskog which featured the work of Gillian Wearing, Michael Landy, Paul Noble and Ged Quinn, amongst others.

Stuart has in recent years had three exhibitions at Riflemaker in Soho, London: I Remember You in 2010, Together in Electric Dreams in 2012 and Love and Death in 2013. During that period Stuart’s work has expanded beyond painting to include film, sculpture and music. He made a film installation with the actress Keira Knightley called MAZE and recorded a vinyl album of country and western classics which featured as the backdrop to I Remember You.

Stuart moved from East London to a set of castle ruins in rural Suffolk in 2014 with his wife and two children.

CURRICULUM VITAE 

BORN 1975, Northampton 

EDUCATION 

BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art at Slade School of Fine Art, University College London 1995-1999
Drawing Year. Royal Drawing School, London, 2002-2003 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS  

2018
Halfboy, Heong Gallery, Cambridge 

2013
Love and Death, Riflemaker, London 

2012
Together in Electric Dreams, Riflemaker, London

2010
Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, Stephensons Works, Newcastle
I Remember You, Riflemaker, London
MAZE installation, Riflemaker, London 

2007
A Hole in the Bucket, Galerie Huebner, Frankfurt
Most People are Other People, University of Wales Art Gallery, Aberystwyth 

2006
Most People are Other People, National Portrait Gallery/National Theatre 

2001
From Eastbourne to Edinburgh. National Portrait Gallery, London 

1999
National Portrait Gallery (BP Travel Award) 

1995
Eastbourne Arts Centre

GROUP EXHIBITIONS 

2018
Royal Academy Summer exhibition, London
Prince and Patron, Buckingham Palace, London
DRAW, Mandell's Gallery, Norwich 

2017
Last of the Tide, Queen's Galleries, London 

2016
Fortnum X Frank, Fortnum and Mason, London
Root of the New. Botanical Gardens, Moscow 

2015
Arms and Armoury display, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
The Last of the Tide, Queen's Galleries, Buckingham Palace
Self, Turner Contemporary, Margate 

2013
Tales of the Unexpected, Transition Gallery London 

2012
Marcel Duchamp in South East Asia, Equator Art Projects, Singapore
Frank & Cheryl Cohen at Chatsworth, Chatsworth House, Derbyshire 

2011
The First Actresses, National Portrait Gallery, London
Writers of Influence, Sunderland Museum, Graves Gallery Sheffield, Southampton City Art Gallery, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery
Smile For London, London Underground System 

2010
Writers of Influence: Shakespeare to J.K. Rowling, National Portrait Gallery, London
Maze Installation, Solyanka State Museum, Moscow 

2009
Kunskog, Five Hundred Dollars Gallery, London
Anopseudononymous, Five Hundred Dollars Gallery, London 

2008
John Moores prize, Walker Art Gallery Liverpool 

2007/8
Home and Garden, The Geffrye Museum, London 

2007
Looking Forward, Agnews, London
Jerwood Drawing Prize, Jerwood Space, London 

2006
God Bless Our Home, Mall Galleries
Things Standing Still, Browse & Darby, London 

2005 Garrick/Milne Prize, Christies, London
Hunting Prize 

2004
Singer & Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour competition
Being Present, Jerwood Space, London
Originals 04
Hunting Prize 

2003
The Drawing Year Show, Prince's Drawing School 

2002
Royal Society of Portrait Painters 

2001 Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries
BP Portrait Award 

2000 Royal Society of British Painters, Mall Galleries
Garrick/Milne Prize
BP Portrait Award
Hunting Prize
Windsor & Newton Millennium Competition 

1999
BP Portrait Award
Singer & Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour competition
Hunting Art Prize
Group Show, Thompsons Art Gallery 

1998
Singer & Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour competition
BP Portrait Award
Hunting Art Prize
Royal Academy Summer Show 

1994
Solo Show Eastbourne Arts Centre 

1993
Group Show, Brighton Arts Centre

AWARDS 

2008
Shortlist, John Moores Prize 

2007
Shortlist, Jerwood Drawing Prize 

2005
First Prize, Garrick/Milne Prize 

2004
First Prize, Singer & Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour competition
Purchase Prize, University of Wales, Aberystwyth
Printmaking Award, Joseph Webb Commemorative Fund 

2003
Travel Award, Discerning Eye (Sri Lanka) 

2001
Winner, BP Portrait Award 

2000
Third Prize, Garrick/Milne Prize
Grant Award, Elizabeth Greenshield Foundation
British Finalist, Windsor & Newton Millennium Competition 

1999
Third Prize, Singer & Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour competition 

1998
Travel Award, BP Portrait Award

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS 

Aberdeen Art Gallery
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
British Academy
British Museum
Fitzwilliam Collection, Cambridge
Garrick Club, London
Government Art collection, House of Commons, London
Index Ventures Collection, Geneva
ING Barings Bank, Brussels
Jerwood Foundation
National Portrait Gallery, London
Rhode Island School of Design Museum, USA
Royal Society of Arts School of Art Gallery & Museum, Aberystwyth, Wales
Singer and Friedlander Bank
Singer and Friedlander PLC
Scheringa Museum, Netherlands
Vemmetofte Kloster, Copenhagen

PRIVATE COLLECTIONS 

David Roberts Art Foundation
Frank Cohen
HRH Prince of Wales
J.K.Rowling
Taylor Thomson
Keira Knightley
Aldo Corinelli
Nick Candy
John Hurt
David Thewlis
Bryan Ferry
Danny Rimer
Daniel Radcliffe
Graham Fink
Simon Baker
Paul Smith
Francoise Sarre
Mark Wadhwa
Bianca Roden
Omer Koc
Philip Mould
Kathy Burke
Jeffrey Archer
Jerry Hall
Sir Norman Rosenthal
Ian Bostridge

CURATED EXHIBITIONS 

2014
Artist of the Day, Flowers Gallery, London 

2009
Kunskog, Five Hundred Dollars Gallery, London
Anopseudononymous, Five Hundred Dollars Gallery, London 

2006
God Bless Our Home, Mall Galleries

LECTURES 

2017
University of Hull. City of Culture 

2014
TEDx Talk, Houses of Parliament, London 

2012
In Conversation with Fiona Shaw, Riflemaker, London 

2011
In Conversation with William Feaver, Prince's Drawing School, London 

2008
In Conversation with Judy Batalion, The Geffrye Museum, London 

2006
Cheltenham Literature Festival Westminster School 

2005
Contemporary Portraiture, National Portrait Gallery 

2003
Life after the BP Award, National Portrait Gallery 

2002
Realism and Artifice in Portraiture, British Museum, London

OTHER PROJECTS 

2012
Set design, Dido and Aeneas, Jevington National Opera, Sussex
Set Design, The Tiger's Bride, Hoxton Hall, London

TEACHING 

2017
Norwich University of the Arts: visiting lecturer 

2015 to present
Royal Drawing School, London: visiting lecturer