Curriculum Vitae: Historica Canada Entry

Graham Peacock, painter (b. at London, England, 26 July 1945).

Peacock studied at Goldsmiths School of Art in the University of London (1962-66) and soon developed an interest in the abstract art of Mondrian and Malevich, and then Rothko and Noland. In 1969 he moved to Edmonton and began teaching at the University of Alberta.

In 1973 Peacock made personal contact with a number of important New York artists through sculptor Michael Steiner's artists' workshop at the Edmonton Art Gallery. Peacock was drawn to such Modernists as Jules Olitski and Lawrence Poons for their freedom from conventional techniques, and soon began applying paint with rollers and then brooms.

In 1981 Peacock developed a highly inventive and personal way of painting. Working with thirty-foot lengths of canvas on the floor, he would pour one layer of paint over another, not-quite-cured layer and allow the top layer to shrink, separate and craze as it dried. He would then select portions to be stretched up in irregular shapes as individual paintings. Peacock had developed his own voice as a "process abstractionist" of the "fluid school" associated with Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler and Morris Louis.

Peacock continued to develop his technique, building up his surfaces with polyurethane foam, pipe insulation and carpet underlay under the canvas. He added collaged elements: glass marbles, plastic reflectors and glitter. His aim has been, as Miro once said, to "remain within pure painting" while "at the same time going beyond it."

Peacock has exhibited widely in important group shows such as the National Gallery of Canada's Abstraction West and Emma Lake and After (1976). He had solo exhibitions at the Edmonton Art Gallery in 1988 and 1991. From that year on Peacock has shown in a wide range of international centres (Paris, Stuttgart, Nice, Seoul, Vienna, Brussels) as a founding member of the New New Painters, an experimental group of American and Canadian artists dedicated to exploring the fullest potential of the new acrylic paints.

Author Ken Carpenter

The artist's Limited Edition book - Graham Peacock: A Retrospective - provides a full survey of the artist’s life from 1945 to 2007, focusing on the period between 1982 and 2007; it includes over 400 pages, more than 350 full colour reproductions, and includes authored texts and the artist’s writings.

You can download an online order form for the book here.