By the artist Peter McDonald and Professor David Rayson, Head of Painting at the Royal College of Art
Peter McDonald depicts colourful scenes inhabited by people engaged in everyday activities. Images of teachers, artists, hairdressers or carpet sellers are constructed with an elementary graphic language. By making use of archetypes, symbolism and our incorrigible tendency to make the strange seem more familiar, McDonald’s alternative world reads like a parallel universe.
The artist describes the exhibition as a view of his painted universe, showcasing his paintings and works on paper, revealing the influence of everyday experiences upon his practice. For example the diptych, Looking for a Carpet (2009) was based on an experience during a trip to Morocco. Some of the works on paper reflect his stay in Japan during and after his year-long project Visitor, in Kanazawa, whilst the Noh drama series of works were based on his memories of traditional theatre performances and collaborations with the Kanazawa Noh Museum during Visitor.
About the contributors
Peter McDonald, born in Tokyo in 1973, studied sculpture at Central Saint Martins School of Art, and painting at the Royal Academy Schools. He has had solo exhibitions at Kate MacGarry, London and also at Gallery Side 2, Tokyo, amongst others. He was awarded the John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize in 2008. In 2009, Art on the Underground commissioned McDonald to produce Art for Everybody a large scale billboard installation at Southwark station. As artist-in-residence at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (2011–12), he worked on a year-long project called Visitor, which included workshops and work-in-progress shows.
Professor David Rayson
David Rayson was appointed Professor and Head of Painting at the Royal College of Art in 2006. He is a practising artist, tutor and curator and his work has been exhibited widely in the UK and internationally. His work is included in major collections held by the Tate, Whitechapel Art Gallery, British Council, Deutsche Bank, Rubell Family Collection, The Open University and The Contemporary Art Society.
Rayson’s work relates directly to the visual potential of the everyday, enabling the ordinary to be realised as fantastic. He continues to support emerging artists through his engagement with many survey exhibitions and organisations such as the Jerwood Gallery Trust, The Threadneadle Prize, The British Council and artist-led initiatives.