Jock McFadyen by Rowan Moore (hardback)

Royal Academy of Arts
Page count:
160 printed pages
130 illustrations
Item Size:
28 × 24 cm

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Beautifully illustrated hardback book on the colourful life and work of one of today’s foremost figurative painters of urban life Jock McFadyen RA written by architecture critic Rowan Moore.

This book celebrates an important contemporary painter, and is generously illustrated with a selection of McFadyen’s works – including Tate Moss, a painting derived from an illicit kayak trip along the canal into London’s future Olympic Park with the writer Iain Sinclair in 2007, and his recent depictions of a gargantuan moon hanging above Trade distribution contacts Edinburgh.

Moore creates a fascinating portrait of McFayden weaving together stories from his life – from burning an effigy of his principal and being thrown out of college to a residency at the National Gallery and election to the Royal Academy in 2012 – with an in-depth analysis of his art. McFadyen’s story begins in 1950s Scotland, moving via squats in Chelsea during the punk era, to the East End of London, now the subject of many of his large-scale landscapes. Moore explores McFadyen’s decision to ‘believe in painting’ in the face of artists who appeared to seek financial reward before all else.

Rowan Moore is architecture critic at the Observer, and was named Critic of the Year at the UK press awards in 2014. His books include Slow Burn City: London in the Twenty-first Century (2017) and Why We Build (2013).