Lisson Gallery

Christopher Le Brun

Christopher Le Brun is one of the leading British painters of his generation, celebrated internationally since the 1980s, making both figurative and abstract work in media including painting, sculpture, watercolour and print. He was also an instrumental public figure in his role as President of the Royal Academy of Arts in London from 2011 to 2019. He was awarded a Knighthood (Knight Bachelor) for services to the Arts in the 2021 New Year Honours. Le Brun employs a mastery of touch and colour alongside a profound understanding of art history and a wide range of visual, musical and literary sources to engage with the major existential, aesthetic and formal questions of painting. His works are notable for their layered, complex, scintillating surfaces, which he describes as ‘non-ironic, primary’ responses to the act of painting.

Le Brun has remained consistent in adhering to what he feels to be the essential poetry of painting led by intuition and visual imagination. Recent work shows the development of modular compositions from single pieces through to large and highly complex canvases, triptychs and monumental multipart paintings, extending the limits of abstract pictorial composition. Le Brun’s heightened awareness of the painting process with its dramatic tension between revealing and covering, has been a central feature of his work that unites all its phases whether abstract or figurative. His idea is to make a painting less fenced or surrounded, but one which feels for its boundaries organically, playing out its appearance in front of you

Born in Portsmouth in 1951, Christopher Le Brun trained at the Slade and Chelsea Schools of Art, London. In his early career, he was a double prizewinner at the John Moores exhibitions (1978, 1980), also showing in the Venice Biennale (1980) and the ground-breaking exhibition ‘Zeitgeist’ (1982) at the Martin-Gropius Bau, Berlin. His recent solo exhibitions have been held at the Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing, China (2021); Albertz Benda, New York, USA (2020); Lisson Gallery, Shanghai, China (2019); Lisson Gallery, London, UK (2018); the Southampton Art Gallery, Southampton, UK (2018); Wolfson College, Cambridge, UK (2018); Albertz Benda, New York, NY, USA (2017); The Gallery at Windsor, Vero Beach, FL, USA (2017); Colnaghi, London, UK (2015); Friedman Benda, New York, NY, USA (2014); New Art Centre, Wiltshire, UK (2010) and The New Art Gallery, Walsall, UK (2008). Le Brun served as a trustee of Tate from 1990–1995; The National Gallery from 1996–2003; the Dulwich Picture Gallery from 2000–2005; and as a founding trustee of the Royal Drawing School from 2003–2016. He was a trustee of the National Portrait Gallery between 2012-19. He was elected the first Professor of Drawing of the Royal Academy, London in 2000, where he also served as President from 2011-2021, the 26th since Sir Joshua Reynolds and the youngest since Lord Leighton in 1878. 

His work is in many major museum collections including Tate Gallery, London, UK; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA; the British Museum, London, UK; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA; Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Scotland; The Whitworth, Manchester, UK and Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, USA. Le Brun’s public sculptures include Union (horse with two discs) at the Museum of London; City Wing on the site of the former stock exchange at Threadneedle Street; and The Monument to Victor Hugo on the quayside in St Helier, Jersey.

Late Play

Christopher Le Brun
Late Play

2019
Oil on canvas Diptych: 160 x 220.4 x 4 cm / 62 7/8 x 86 3/4 in (overall)

A Word to the Page

Christopher Le Brun
A Word to the Page

2019
Oil on canvas Diptych: 160 x 280 x 4cm / 62 7/8 x 110 1/8 in (overall)

Look and Feel

Christopher Le Brun
Look and Feel

2019
Oil on canvas, diptych Diptych: 160 x 220 cm / 62 7/8 x 86 1/2 in (overall)

The Madness of Tristram

Christopher Le Brun
The Madness of Tristram

2018
Oil on canvas 220.5 x 170 cm / 86 3/4 x 66 7/8 in

Early and Late

Christopher Le Brun
Early and Late

2018
Oil on canvas 220 x 160 cm / 86 1/2 x 62 7/8 in

The King's Highway

Christopher Le Brun
The King's Highway

2017
Oil on canvas 230 x 270 cm / 90 1/2 x 106 1/4 in

Large Stem Composition, 2020

Christopher Le Brun
Large Stem Composition, 2020

White patinated bronze
299 x 273 x 45.5 cm
117 5/8 x 107 3/8 x 17 7/8 in

Untitled 23.3.18

Christopher Le Brun
Untitled 23.3.18

2018
Oil on canvas 85 x 100.2 cm / 33 3/8 x 39 3/8 in

Scene

Christopher Le Brun
Scene

2017
Oil on canvas 195 x 335 cm / 76 3/4 x 131 7/8 in

Cape

Christopher Le Brun
Cape

2017
Oil on canvas 195 x 125 cm / 76 3/4 x 49 1/4 in

D30

Christopher Le Brun
D30

2018
Oil on paper 150 x 105 cm / 59 x 41 1/4 in

The Mind’s Weather II

Christopher Le Brun
The Mind’s Weather II

2021

Oil on canvas (diptych)
Each panel: 160.5 x 140.5 x 3.5 cm
Each panel: 63 1/8 x 55 1/4 x 1 3/8 in

Stem Composition 2, 2018

Christopher Le Brun
Stem Composition 2, 2018

Patinated bronze
35 x 29 x 5 cm
13 3/4 x 11 3/8 x 1 7/8 in

Quadrant, 2020

Christopher Le Brun
Quadrant, 2020

Oil on 4 x canvases
210.6 x 240.8 x 3.6 cm 4 panels
82 7/8 x 94 3/4 x 1 3/8 in 4 panels

Exhibitions

  1. Christopher Le Brun: Momentarium

    Christopher Le Brun: Momentarium

    6 July – 20 August 2022

  2. Selected works in London

    Selected works in London

    8 December 2020 – 12 January 2021

  3. Horizon

    Horizon

    6 October – 31 October 2020

  4. Christopher Le Brun: Diptychs

    Christopher Le Brun: Diptychs

    6 November 2019 – 28 March 2020

  5. Christopher Le Brun: New Painting

    Christopher Le Brun: New Painting

    4 July – 18 August 2018

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