Stephen Farthing is known for reinventing historic painting as a form of contemporary narrative. His work reflects his personal perspective on events that capture his imagination, favouring the unambiguous he uses text to shape the reading of his work.
Studying at Saint Martin’s School of Art, Farthing attained a Master’s degree in painting from the Royal College of Art in 1976.Farthing has taught at Canterbury College of Art, Royal College of Art, West Surrey College of Art and Design, and the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art.
Farthing has had solo exhibitions in the UK, Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, Australia, Japan, and the United States. He designed, curated and exhibited at “Drawing from Turner” at the Tate Britain in 2006 and his work was featured in the 1989 São Paulo Biennale.
Known also as a Writer, Farthing has published extensively, his titles including 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die and 501 Great Artists in addition to numerous academic essays and articles.
Farthing was elected as a Royal Academician in 1998, and made an Emeritus Fellow of St Edmund Hall, Oxford in 2000. Farthing’s work is held in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London.
He has won prizes at the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition on multiple occasions. He was executive director of the New York Academy of Art for four years until 2004 when he was appointed the Rootstein Hopkins Research Chair of Drawing at the University of Arts London.