Christopher Le Brun

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Christopher Mark Le Brun
Born (1951-12-20) 20 December 1951 (age 66)
Portsmouth, England, UK
Nationality British
Education Slade School of Art 1970–74, Chelsea School of Art 1974–75
Known for painting, sculpture, printmaking
Awards John Moores Painting Prize 1978 & 1980 Gulbenkian Printmakers Award 1983 DAAD 1987–88 University of the Arts Fellowship 2011

Christopher Le Brun PRA (born 1951) is a British artist, known primarily as a painter. He has been President of the Royal Academy of Arts since his election in 2011.


Le Brun studied painting at the Slade School of Art (1970–74) and Chelsea School of Art (1974–75). Since then he has taught and lectured extensively at art schools throughout the country, in particular until 1984 at Brighton, The Slade, Chelsea, and Wimbledon. In 1982 he participated in the influential "Zeitgeist" exhibition at the Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin. Following this he had many solo exhibitions in galleries both in Europe and the United States, such as Sperone Westwater, Rudolf Zwirner, Nigel Greenwood, LA Louver and Marlborough Fine Art. Le Brun has exhibited in many significant surveys of international art, including "Nuova Immagine", Milan 1981, "An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture", MoMA New York 1984, "Avant-garde in the Eighties", Los Angeles 1987 and "Contemporary Voices", MoMA New York 2005.

He is also a printmaker, for which he was elected to the Royal Academy in 1996 (category engraver), coincidentally the year in which he made his first sculpture. He was one of the five artists shortlisted for the Angel of the South monumental sculpture project in 2008.[1] In 2011 he was the chief co-ordinator of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. On 8 December 2011 he was elected President of the Royal Academy[2] and interviewed about his role by the Guardian Professional Networks in 2013.[3] He lives and works in London and is married to the artist Charlotte Verity.[2]

The late Bryan Robertson, former director of the Whitechapel Gallery, described Le Brun for the exhibition "Christopher Le Brun Paintings 1991–1994" at Marlborough Fine Art, London, as follows:

"On consistent terms which Le Brun has made uniquely his own, he has created a considerable body of work in large or quite small paintings, with drawings and many engravings of inventive refinement which, put all together, makes a visible and credible world of its own. An intensity of visual concept in its broad sense sustains an oddly relaxed, divergent and exploratory tension derived from the calculated and extremely variable deployment of each brushmark in its placement on the canvas. He offers us a feast for the eye demanded by Delacroix as the first requisite of any painting before it has meaning. Some of the ways in which Le Brun deploys pigment appear to stem from early Guston and, before that, from the late Monet that we encounter in the Musee Marmotton – but the world celebrated by Le Brun in this use of paint stems in essence from the romantic past of poetry, myth and legend."



  • 1980 – first solo exhibition, Nigel Greenwood Gallery, London
  • 1982 – "Zeitgeist", Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
  • 1983 – Sperone Westwater, New York
  • 1985 – Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol
  • 1987 – "Avant-garde in the Eighties", Los Angeles
  • 1988 – DAAD, Berlin
  • 1992 – LA Louver, Los Angeles
  • 1994 – Marlborough Fine Art, London
  • 1995 – Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo
  • 2000 – Fig-1, "50 Projects in 50 weeks", London
  • 2005 – "Contemporary Voices", Museum of Modern Art, New York.
  • 2008 – "Christopher Le Brun", The New Art Gallery, Walsall
  • 2010 – "The Distance", The New Art Centre Roche Court, Wiltshire
  • 2011 – "Five Symbolic Images. Bronze and Plaster Sculptures", One Canada Square Canary Wharf, London
  • 2014 – "New Paintings", Friedman Benda, New York
  • 2015 – "Colour", Colnaghi, London
  • 2016 – "New Paintings", Arndt, Singapore
  • 2017 – "Composer", The Gallery at Windsor, Vero Beach
  • 2017 – "Composer", Albertz Benda, New York
  • 2018 – "Dualities", Wolfson College, Cambridge
  • 2018 – "New Painting", Lisson Gallery, London



Le Brun is an experienced printmaker working in etching, lithography, woodcut and monotype. He had long term collaborations with Peter Kosowicz and Simon Marsh of the former Hope Sufferance Press as well as Paupers Press in London, Garner and Richard Tullis in Santa Barbara,[6] Michael Woolworth Publications in Paris and Graphic Studio in Dublin. Most recently he has been working to great acclaim with Paragon Press in London, publishing two series of sets of woodcuts entitled Seria Ludo and large scale monoprint woodcuts on the same abstract theme.[7]

In 2005 a new and extensive series of prints, the 50 Etchings was published by Paragon Press. Launched initially at Frieze, it has been exhibited in Cologne, New York and the Original Print Fair in London. Sets have recently been acquired by the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge and the British Museum, London.

His continuing interest in monotype dates from 1986, when during the first of several visits to the Tullis studio in California, he made, among other works, a 60-part print measuring over 15 x 40m in two days. A more recent monotype project inaugurated the Artists International Print Project at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice in 2002, working with the printers Simon Marsh and Michael Taylor of Paupers Press.

Notable publications include Seven Lithographs 1989, Fifty Etchings 1991, Four Riders 1993, Wagner 1994, Motif Light 1998, Paris Lithographs 2000, Fifty Etchings 2005, Seria Ludo 2015-2016 and Composer 2017.


Christopher Le Brun, Union (Horse with Two Discs), 1999-2000, Bronze, 469 x 255 x 158 cm. Installed in New Art Centre, Wiltshire.

Public collections[edit]

Aberdeen Art Gallery / Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney / Arts Council of Great Britain / Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo / Berardo Museum, Lisbon / Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery / The British Council, London / British Museum, London / Chester Beatty Library, Dublin / Contemporary Art Society, London / Courtauld Gallery, London / Department of the Environment, London / Falmouth Art Gallery / Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge / Frissiras Museum of contemporary Greek & European painting, Athens/ Hamilton Art Gallery, Ontario / Harris Museum, Preston / Harvard University Art Museums / High Museum, Atlanta / Ile de France Regional Fund / Isle of Man Arts Council / John Creasey Museum, Salisbury / Liverpool Cathedral / Malmo Doershus, Malmo / Maclaurin Art Gallery, Ayr / McNay Museum, San Antonio, Texas / Metropolitan Museum of Arts, New York / Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo / Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego / Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney / Museum of Modern Art, New York[9]/ Museum of London / National Museum of Ireland / National Portrait Gallery, London / New Art Gallery, Walsall / Pallant House, Chichester / Power Gallery, University of Sydney / Rooseum, Malmo / Royal Academy, London / Royal Mint, Cardiff / Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh / Southampton Museum and Art Gallery / Southwark Art Collection / Spencer Collection, New York City Public Library / Stavanger Art Gallery, Stavanger / Stirlingshire Educational Trust / Swindon Museum and Art Gallery / Tate Gallery, London[10]/ University of Liverpool / University of Tasmania, Hobart / University of Texas, Austin / Victoria and Albert Museum, London / Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool / Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles / Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester / Yale Center for British Art, New Haven


  1. ^ "The Ebbsfleet Landmark shortlist". The Guardian. 7 May 2008. Retrieved 18 November 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Christopher Le Brun becomes Royal Academy president". BBC. 9 December 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2016. 
  3. ^ Matthew Caines (2 July 2013). "Arts head: Christopher Le Brun, president, Royal Academy of Arts". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 November 2016. 
  4. ^ "Bryan Robertson Catalogue Introduction to the exhibition Christopher Le Brun Paintings 1991-1994 at Marlborough Fine Art London 1994". 20 April 2013. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2016. 
  5. ^ "The Turner Society". The Turner Society. Retrieved 2018-05-29. 
  6. ^ Ranscombe, Siân (11 July 2014). "Flashback: Christopher Le Brun president of the RA, remembers working in his studio, 1986". Telegraph Magazine. p. 74. Retrieved 20 November 2017. 
  7. ^ Furman, Anna. "In New Prints, Christopher Le Brun Channels "Serious Matters in a Playful Vein"". Retrieved 18 November 2016. 
  8. ^ "Christopher Le Brun PRA". Tate Modern. 
  9. ^ "The Collection | MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 18 November 2016. 
  10. ^ Christopher Le Brun, Tate Gallery website.

External links[edit]

Cultural offices
Preceded by
Sir Nicholas Grimshaw
President of the Royal Academy