The variegated practice of Los Angeles-based, English artist Derek Boshier is coined by astute and wry observations of popular culture. Among the first exponents of British Pop Art, what distinguished Boshier from contemporaries — including Peter Blake, Patrick Caulfield, and Pauline Boty — was his trademark brand of satirical social commentary.
Together with fellow RCA students David Hockney, Allen Jones, Peter Philips, and R B Kitaj, he participated in the landmark 1962 Young Contemporaries exhibition that brought Pop Art to the attention of the wider public. The artist works in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, collage, and sculpture. In the 1970s, the artist expanded from painting to photography, film, video, assemblage, and installations, yet he returned to painting by the end of the decade. On what shapes his work, Boshier commented: “Most important is life itself, my sources tend to be current events, personal events, social and political situations, and a sense of place and places”.
Boshier’s work has appeared in many museum exhibitions, including: the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Tate Britain and British Museum, London; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris. Boshier was the recipient of the Honorary Fellowship of the RCA in 2016 as well as receiving the Guggenheim fellowship and NEA award for the arts. Notably too, he is an accomplished teacher and lecturer.
2021's Icarus and K-Pop at Gazelli Art House saw a new series of large scale works by Boshier, informed by the Korean programme King of Mask Singers and the myth of Icarus, a story of ambition and failure, reworked by the artist to critique modern ideologies and cultures.