Mark Alexander (painter)

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Mark Alexander (born 1966) is a contemporary British artist.


Born in the small market town of Horsham, West Sussex, Alexander came to painting relatively late, receiving his BFA from Oxford University as a mature student in 1996, despite his lack of formal education or training.[1] Alexander is an artist in residence at the Beethoven Haus in Bonn, Germany (2014–15).

Style and works

Alexander's style is characterised by meticulous labour-intensive brushwork. His art often reinvents the icons of the past, recasting such well-known cultural objects as the Shield of Achilles, Van Gogh's famous portrait of the French physician Paul Gachet, and ruined statues of saints in New College, Oxford. Alexander's painstaking technique, requiring many months to complete a single work, has attracted both praise and befuddlement from critics.[2] ‘Mark Alexander’, according to the Daily Telegraph newspaper, ‘cuts an enigmatic figure in the art world, attracting the interest of some of its most influential collectors. He has produced only twenty-two paintings since his career began in 1993. This is due not to idleness but to a sort of manic fastidiousness.’ ‘The works of this self-taught artist combine elements of eighteenth-century classicism, nineteenth-century photography, and modern photo-realism.’[3]

Alexander's portraits include ones of the contemporary British poet Craig Raine and the celebrated English architect Sir Thomas Graham Jackson. His recent copies of Van Gogh's notorious Portrait of Dr Gachet, in which he has siphoned off all of the colour of the original, replacing it with heavy black pigment, caused considerable controversy when exhibited in London in 2005.

Alexander's Red Mannheim altarpieces have been included in the 2010 St Paul's cathedral art programme along with Anthony Gormley, Damien Hirst, Bill Viola, Yoko Ono and others.


  • 2014-2015 "Red and White Mannheim" Bode Museum, Berlin, Germany
  • 2014 "Mannheim Paintings" Galerie Bastian, Berlin, Germany
  • 2013 "American Bog" Broadway 1602 Gallery, New York, USA
  • 2012 "Ground and Unground" Wilkinson Gallery, London UK
  • 2012 "power FLOWER:Blüten Zauber in der Zeitgenössischen Kunst", Galerie ABTART, Stuttgart, Germany
  • 2011 "Ars Apocalipsis, Kunst und Kollaps" Kunstverein Kreis, Veerhoffhaus, Gütersloh, Germany
  • 2010 Red Mannheim (St. Paul's Cathedral), London, UK
  • 2010 "The Library of Babel - In and Out of Place" 176 Zabludowicz Collection, London, UK
  • 2010 "Flowers, Death And Butterflies" Ausstellungsraum Céline und Heiner Bastian, Berlin, Germany
  • 2009 The Blacker Gold (Haunch of Venison Gallery), Berlin
  • 2005 The Bigger Victory: Retrospective (Haunch of Venison Gallery), London
  • 2002 The Galleries Show (The Royal Academy of Art, London)
  • 2002 On the Move (Kunsthalle, Basel)
  • 2001 I am a Camera (Saatchi Gallery, London)
  • 2001 The Abhorrence of Virtue and the Love of Vice (Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London)
  • 1999 Ozymandias (Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London)


  1. The Lives of Mark Alexander, Areté magazine, Volume 17, Spring-Summer 2005, pp. 73-104
  2. Haunch of Venison
  3. Colin Gleadell, Market News, The Daily Telegraph, 28 March 2005