Peter Howson

About the Artist

Peter Howson OBE has established a formidable reputation as one of his generation’s leading figurative painters. Many of his paintings derive inspiration from the streets of Glasgow, where he was brought up. He is renowned for his penetrating insight into the human condition, and his heroic portrayals of the mighty and meek. His art is described by Robert Heller as “founded in Humanity, especially the human face”.

Howson was born in London in 1958. He studied at Glasgow School of Art from 1975 – 1977, and returned in 1979 to complete a Masters degree . In 1985 he was made the Artist in Residence at the University of St Andrews and also a part-time tutor at Glasgow School of Art. In 1992 he was commissioned by the Imperial War Museum to record the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. He was appointed official British war artist for Bosnia in 1993 and a few years later in 1996 was awarded Doctor of Letters Honoras Causa, University of Strathclyde.

His work has been shown in major shows around the world including the ‘Eye on Europe’ exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and ‘The Naked Portrait’ exhibition in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in 2007.

Prior to converting to Christianity in 2000 , Howson responded to pain by pursuing hedonism. His experiences of abuse – whether self-inflicted and substance-related or the traumatic events of his childhood – have afforded him an affinity with those individuals who are classed as somehow ‘on the edge’.

His work has caught the attention of a number of prominent cultural figures, celebrities and creatives as well as striking a chord with prisoners, a voiceless demographic from whom Howson receives many letters of support. His ability to speak to the peripheries – to both the exclusive echelons living ‘the highlife’ and the socially alienated outsiders labelled ‘low lives’ – is proof of his enduring skill at capturing the maverick, excessive and non-conformist, while also seeking spiritual change.

Howson recently completed a dramatic rendering of the Martyrdom of St John Ogilvie for the renovated St Andrew’s Cathedral in Glasgow. The process of working on the commission has been the subject of a BBC documentary recorded over the past two years. Howson was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2009 Birthday Honours for services to the visual arts.

city of destruction 882 tn

City of Destruction
Mixed Media
Size Framed: 470
mm x 550mm
 POA

study of christ 531a tn

Study of Christ
Ink
Size Framed: 360
mm x 450mm
 POA

the noble dosser

Noble Dosser
Woodcut
Size: 1830
mm x 1210mm
 SOLD

marlborough 1994

Marlborough
Etching
Size: 330
mm x 390.5mm
POA

hostages

Hostages
Etching
Size: 330
mm x 390.5mm
POA

bodyguard

Bodyguard
Etching
Size: 330
mm x 390mm
POA

hodje

Hodje
Etching
Size: 380
mm x 440.5mm
POA

helping refugees 1994

Helping Refugees
Lithography
Size: 630
mm x 510mm
POA

defeated 1994

Defeated
Lithography
Size: 630
mm x 510mm
POA

bosnian harvest 1994

Bosnian Harvest
Lithography
Size: 630.5
mm x 510mm
POA

battle of travnik 1994

Battle of Travnik
Lithograph
Size: 630.5
mm x 510mm
POA

near redoubt 1994

Near Redoubt
Etching
Size: 440
mm x 380mm
POA

forest checkpoint

Forest Checkpoint
Lithography
Size: 630
mm x 510mm
POA

on drugs 1994

On Drugs
Lithograph
Size: 510
mm x 630.5mm
POA